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City Council Meeting Minutes

July 20, 2010

CALL TO ORDER: City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on July 20, 2010 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: Renee S. Nelson, Henry Hay Nixon, Toni Smith, Carol Hill-Evans, Vice President, and Genevieve H. Ray, President, with President Ray presiding.

GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT

Michael Miller, Chair, Alliance of Neighborhood Associations, 460 W. Princess St., York, PA, presented Council with a statement from the ANA regarding the proposed draft zoning ordinance amendments. (Note: A copy of said statement is attached to these Minutes.) (Read Statement)

Joanne Borders, 334 W. Princess St., York, PA, and representative of the Salem Square Neighborhood Association, said she read and agrees with recommendations made by the Alliance of Neighborhood Associations related to proposed zoning ordinance amendments.

Gary Jones, Habitat for Humanity, relayed that they have built 85 homes in the city, with 10 homes currently in the planning phase. He said Habitat is now a mission-oriented group and they hope to build more homes in the city because they want to make a difference in neighborhoods. Mr. Jones said Habitat supports the Alliance of Neighborhood Associations' recommendations with regard to the proposed zoning ordinance amendments.

Peter Werley, Downtown East, 29 S. Pine St., York, PA, said he backs the ANA's decision not to support the proposed zoning amendments and said we need to support neighborhoods and encourage residential uses not just commercial uses.

Paul Kickleiter, 431 Linden Ave., York, PA, stated that the Avenues Neighborhood Association does not like the present form of the zoning proposal. He said he comes from Tampa where signs got out of hand after rezoning.

Joan Burgasser, 321 E. Market St., York, PA, said the zoning strategic planning process began in 2008 with many neighborhood meetings where consultants and staff heard from residents. They shared their deep concerns about downtown York and our historic neighborhoods. She stated that the newly proposed MUI zoning concept could put these areas at risk by turning them into stores or tattoo parlors. She urged Council to not approve the proposed zoning amendment in its current form.

Franklin Williams, 528 W. Market St., York, PA, stated that the city is poorer today than it was at Council's last meeting with the passing of Tom Foust. Mr. Williams then shared fond memories of
Mr. Foust.

Steve Young, 9 N. Newberry St., York, PA, announced the Youth Outreach Program being held at Martin Library on July 21, 2010 beginning at 12 noon. Mr. Young then commented that riding his bike in the city is challenging and reminded residents to not ride on the sidewalks. Lastly, Mr. Young said he needed more clarification on appointments to city boards.

There being no further public comment, President Ray 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: Renee S. Nelson, Henry Hay Nixon, Toni Smith, Carol Hill-Evans, Vice President, and Genevieve H. Ray, President, with President Ray presiding.

Members of the Administration in attendance included: C. Kim Bracey, Mayor, Jim Gross, Director of Public Works, Kevin Schreiber, Director of Economic Development and Interim Director of Community Development, Steve Buffington, Fire Chief, and Michael O’Rourke, Business Administrator. Also present was Assistant Solicitor Shaleeta Washington.

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

Pledge of Allegiance: The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Approval of Minutes: Council dispensed with the reading of the Minutes of June 1, 2010 and unanimously approved them as written.

Correspondence and Announcements: President Ray read correspondence and announcements.

PRESENTATIONS: None

COMMITTEE MEETINGS SCHEDULED

Rules & Administrative Code Committee, Genevieve H. Ray, Chair: Meeting held tonight, Tuesday, July 20, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers to discuss Bill No. 12 repealing the city's residency requirement and to discuss findings from the employee survey and other related material. Bill No. 12 appears on tonight's agenda for consideration of final passage.

STATUS OF PRIOR COMMITTEE REFERRALS: None

SUBDIVISION / LAND DEVELOPMENT / HARB

A motion was made by Hill-Evans, seconded by Ray, to read Resolution No. 88 by short title. The motion passed unanimously.

Resolution No. 88, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution supporting AARP Pennsylvania for its proposed “Create the Good” intergenerational project, was introduced by Ray, read by short title, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 88 came up for discussion.

Kathy Silts, AARP, was in attendance and outlined this initiative. She explained that the AARP Pennsylvania proposes to “Create the Good” in the City of York by adding a new large-scale, mosaic mural to enhance the outdoor landscape. This intergenerational project will beautify the area with original art, promote positive aging and civic engagement, and offer an opportunity for trained and untrained artists of all ages to contribute to York’s growing outdoor gallery depicting life in the White Rose City. She said Rebecca Quattrone, a mosaicist and professor at York College, has developed a concept for this mural for downtown York at a location to be determined.

Professor Rebecca Quattrone, mosaicist, said she aimed for a visual metaphor that defines and supports AARP’s organizational missions and benefits. The images include a tree (symbolizing life, health, and longevity), roots (representing AARP members as the foundations of society), apples (characterizing AARP’s commitment to health and well-being), a rainbow (depicting diversity), a path (symbolizing life journeys that help define growing older), and a senior and child (conveying the intergenerational transmission of wisdom and caring). She thanked the City of York for this opportunity.

The AARP Pennsylvania and Professor Quattrone are prepared to launch volunteer recruitment, site readiness and material preparation in July, and on-site creation of the mural in August. Unveiling is anticipated in late August or early September 2010, possibly in conjunction with the Yorkfest art festival (August 25-27, 2010).

Joan Burgasser, 321 E. Market St., York, PA, and HARB member, stated that HARB is charged with approving murals and this has not come to HARB for approval.

David Redshaw, HARB Chair, applauded AARP and wants to see the project move forward. However, he said this type of project needs to comply with the Secretary of Interior's Guidelines for Historic Preservation and as such the mural will need HARB approval.

Director Schreiber said he would check into this issue and will follow through on any approval processes, if required.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 88 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 89, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution appointing Adam E. Smith, Zachary J. Anthony, and Matthew B. Hoblitzell as probationary firefighters effective August 9, 2010, was introduced by Nelson, read at length, and on motion of Nelson, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 89 came up for discussion.

Chief Buffington explained that these three appointments will replace three members who will be retiring. He said if approved, this will bring them up to the full compliment of firefighters authorized in the 2010 budget. Chief Buffington then introduced each candidate. Misters Smith, Anthony and Hoblitzell thanked the City of York for this opportunity and said they look forward to serving.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 89 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 90, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution accepting the recommendations of HARB in denying an application submitted by LSC Design for work to be done at 449, 451 & 459 W. King St., was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 90 came up for discussion.

President Ray said the applicant plans to amend this plan and will therefore go back to the Zoning Hearing Board for re-approval. Therefore, she made a motion to postpone the vote on Resolution No. 90, which was seconded by Nixon, and passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 91, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution accepting the recommendations of HARB in issuing a certificate of appropriateness to Todd Strickhouser for work to be done at 240 S. George St., was introduced by Nelson, read at length, and on motion of Nelson, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 91 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

FINAL PASSAGE OF BILLS / RESOLUTIONS

Final Passage of Bill No. 12, Ordinance No. 19, Session 2010, (View) A Bill repealing Section 165.07 “Residency Requirements” of Article 165 Employment Provisions of the Codified Ordinances, which was introduced by Nelson at the April 6, 2010 meeting of Council, and referred to the Rules and Administrative Code Committee (meetings held 4/21/10 & 7/20/10), came up for final passage, on motion of Nixon, seconded by Nelson, Bill No. 12 came up for discussion.

Councilman Nixon said he has heard comments about the loss of tax revenue if employees move out of the city. He reminded residents that people are not taxed, real estate is, so he's not worried about that concern unless, of course, there's a sudden mass exodus. Also, he stated that this is a different day and time with people being so much more mobile and we may have couples working in different areas who absolutely need that mobility and we must recognize possible hardships. Councilman Nixon added that he believes in a metro York City and none of the surrounding municipalities have residency so why create an island if we want regionalization. With that, Councilman Nixon said he is in favor of repealing the residency ordinance.

Vice President Hill-Evans stated that she feels we need some sort of residency but is in favor of amending the ordinance instead of repealing it in its entirety. There are qualified people in the city, she stated, and feels we don't have to look outside the city limits to find people to fill positions. She said she is not in favor of completely repealing the ordinance.

Councilwoman Nelson said she believes your work ethic is instilled in you and is not motivated by where you live.

Councilwoman Smith replied that she is not against removing the residency requirement, however, she feels the city didn't do a thorough survey. She said we only surveyed employees but not residents. Councilwoman Smith suggested enclosing surveys in residents' sewer bills because she believes our citizens should be heard.

Business Administrator O'Rourke agreed that a citizens' survey should be done. He said we did a survey for the cable television agreement and it was helpful.

Councilwoman Nelson responded that this Bill has been sitting since April 6 and that all meetings related to this legislation have been televised, advertised, posted on the internet, and several committee meetings held with little attendance. She said there has been plenty of time and opportunity for public comment.

Councilman Nixon added that at the last Council meeting, he invited the public to email, mail or phone him about their comments and/or concerns related to the residency legislation but has received nothing. Therefore, he said he assumes people really don't have an opinion and have opted to leave this decision up to their elected officials.

Vice President Hill-Evans said members of her association (Veterans Memorial Park) held a public meeting to discuss this legislation with a very disappointing 30 people in attendance. However, if we surveyed employees, she said it's only fair that we survey citizens.

Mayor Bracey stated that while campaigning she knocked on many doors to hear from our residents. As such, she feels Council did not do their jobs. If we can't knock on doors or send out surveys, then we should be ashamed of ourselves. Mayor Bracey stated that she said she would support Council's research, however, it's troubling if Council is making its decision solely on the opinion of employees. She urged Council to be sure they make an informed decision.

President Ray said she is not making her decision solely based on the opinion of employees. She said she has asked many people during her campaigning about issues and laws affecting residents and city government. President Ray stated that she feels Council has done its due diligence as this issue has received a lot of public attention. The fact remains that we haven't heard a lot from residents about this issue which leads her to believe the public is placing this in the hands of their elected officials. President Ray said we don't put a survey in sewer bills when the Administration proposes to raise taxes or fees. Instead, we are charged with using our best judgment. President Ray stated that she feels each of us took this legislation seriously and weighed the pros and cons and this is a very complicated issue of policy.

Fred DeSantis, 445 S. George St., said he is a city employee and city resident, by choice. However, it seems like every time this issue comes up for a vote, there is another excuse. Now you want a survey - so what's next, he said. The public had a right to attend all meetings held on this issue but no one showed. There are more important issues facing our city than where employees should live. Council meetings are broadcast across York County so if residents really cared, they would be here tonight, he said.

Ray Crenshaw, 184 Irving Rd., York, PA, and former City Councilman, said this is tough for him because he, former Council President Wm. Lee Smallwood, and others were the ones who implemented the residency program. He said this program has taken many twists and turns since its inception. He gave the history behind the residency law, which in part was implemented to counteract racism. When comparing York to our surrounding municipalities, he said York is the highest taxing authority in the county and if we don't maintain some type of residency, our resources will be lost. Mr. Crenshaw urged Council to reach out to the community so they may provide their comments and/or concerns.

Franklin Williams, 528 W. Market St., York, PA, asked Council to vote on the legislation because it is time to put this to rest. He urged Council to make a realistic and fair decision.

Stephanie Seaton, 227 E. Market St., York, PA, thanked former Councilman Crenshaw for sharing the history behind the residency ordinance. She said she has been affected by both sides of the issue and stated that we need a pool of employment candidates representative of our community.

Business Administrator O'Rourke explained that it is not likely that the comings and goings of employees will affect the tax base but personal income taxes will affect us. We need to look at regionalizing personal income taxes, he said.

Steve Young, 9 N. Newberry St., York, PA, urged Council to vote on this legislation tonight. He feels taxes aren't as much of a concern to residents as our failing school system.

Manuel Gomez, 55 E. Philadelphia St., York, PA, feels that repealing the residency would have a negative impact on our community and he foresees a mass exodus. He pleaded with Council to get more data before voting on this legislation.

There being no further discussion, Bill No. 12, Ordinance No. 19, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Nixon, Ray – 3; Nays – Hill-Evans, Smith – 2.

Final Passage of Bill No. 20, Ordinance No. 20, Session 2010, (View) A Bill amending the 2010 Budget in the amount of $247,000.00 for the West End Improvement Project – Streetscape, which was introduced by Smith at the June 1, 2010 meeting and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Nelson, seconded by Nixon, Bill No. 20, Ordinance No. 20, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Ray – 4; Nays – 0. (Note: Councilwoman Smith was not in attendance during the vote.)

NEW BUSINESS

Bill No. 21, Session 2010, (View) A Bill amending Subsection 185.10 “Human Relations Commission; Powers and Duties” of the Codified Ordinances to decrease commission membership and amend attorney and employee provisions, was introduced by Ray, read by short title, and came up for discussion.

Motion to refer to committee. A motion was made by Ray, seconded by Hill-Evans, to refer Bill No. 21 to the Rules and Administrative Code Committee. The motion passed unanimously. (Note: Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 6:30 p.m.)

Introduction of Bill No. 22, Session 2010, (View) A Bill establishing Article 155 “Public Library Funding” of the Codified Ordinances, was introduced by Smith, read by short title, and came up for discussion.

Motion to refer to committee. A motion was made by Hill-Evans, seconded by Nelson, to refer Bill No. 22 to the Rules and Administrative Code Committee. The motion passed unanimously. (Note: Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 6:30 p.m.)

Introduction of Bill No. 23, Session 2010, (View) A Bill amending Article 713 “Disorderly Conduct and Disturbing the Peace”, Subsection 713.99(a) “Penalty” of the Codified Ordinances to correct a citation of law, was introduced by Ray, read by short title, and deferred until the August 17 meeting of Council.

Introduction of Bill No. 24, Session 2010, (View) A Bill amending the 2010 Budget in the amount of $48,493.00 to reflect remaining expenditures from a state grant award which will be used to improve online permitting, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read by short title, and deferred until the August 17 meeting of Council.

Introduction of Bill No. 25, Session 2010, (View) A Bill amending the 2009 Budget to appropriate expenditures to cover 2009 expenses in preparation of the 2009 audit, was introduced by Nixon, read by short title, and deferred until the August 17 meeting of Council.

Introduction of Bill No. 26, Session 2010, (View) A Bill amending the 2009 Budget to appropriate revenue and expenditures to cover 2009 expenses in preparation of the 2009 audit, was introduced by Nixon, read by short title, and deferred until the August 17 meeting of Council.

Resolution No. 92, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution designating Allen Park as a smoke-free facility in accordance with Article 741.02(q) of the Codified Ordinances, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Nelson, Resolution No. 92 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

President Ray said she believes she originally voted against the smoke-free legislation because she felt it couldn't be enforced but has since then “seen the light” and feels the posted signs have been honored by the residents which is why she supported this resolution.

Resolution No. 93, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution awarding a contract to Kinsley Construction in the amount of $890,980.00 for the Beaver St. Improvements Project, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 93 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 94, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution awarding a contract to G.M.H. Associates of America, Inc. in the amount of $166,000.00 for the metal cleaning & repainting of aerator shrouds, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Nelson, Resolution No. 94 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

SUPPLEMENTAL AGENDA

A motion was made by Hill-Evans, seconded by Nixon, to waive the provision of Resolution No. 215 of Session 1969 to permit consideration of a supplemental agenda containing one item. The motion passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 95, Session 2010, Supplemental Agenda Item, (View) A Resolution awarding a contract to Doug Lamb Construction, Inc. in the amount of $75,000.00 for services for the Pine St. Improvements project, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 95 came up for discussion.

Director Gross explained that this is part of the YWCA Elm St. Program project. He said unfortunately the bids they received exceeded the budgeted amount for this job and as a result they had to reduce the scope of the project. He also explained that the YWCA will have to secure additional funding in order to complete the rest of the project.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 95 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

REQUESTS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS: None

COUNCIL COMMENT: None

ADMINISTRATION COMMENT: None

NEXT MEETING: The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for August 17, 2010 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 July 20, 2010 meeting of Council adjourned at 9:05 p.m.