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City Council Meeting Minutes

June 1, 2010

CALL TO ORDER: City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on June 1, 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

Marlese Dick, Axel Plumbing, York, PA, complained of inadequate parking on N. George St. for residents and her business because of the baseball stadium. She said there are several lots nearby but are all rented out. She said they use to park on a lot owned by the RDA but recently received notice that they are no longer allowed to park there.

Brian O'Connor, 329 N. George St., York, PA, said people going to the baseball games now take up their parking spaces. He stated that he also received the same letter from the RDA that Ms. Dick received. He said there's a bunch of parking spaces available across the street that they can't use and this parking situation is pushing him and his family out of the city. Mr. O'Connor stated that he loves York and wants to stay but needs Council's help.

Jason Wallace, 323 N. George St., York, PA, explained that he has three children with one being in daycare. Every morning Mr. Wallace says he has to get up and move his car and feed the meter for 45 minutes. There's no parking between 7-9 am and 4-6 pm. He said he shouldn't have to torture his children walking in 100 degree weather because he can't park in front of his house.

Rayanne O'Connor, 329 N. George St., York, PA, said the residents on Arch St. receive permit parking because of the baseball games. She asked if they could be given the same consideration.

Steve Young, 9 N. Newberry St., said that at the May 19 Council meeting's public comment session, he had spoken about Downtown Inc. He said that his comments had not been aired on WCRT as part of its regular coverage of Council meetings. President Ray asked if he had been the first, or among the first, speakers and he said yes. She said that the beginning of the public comment session had not been broadcast because the WCRT staff had been inadvertently locked out of the recording room. Mr. Young indicated that he was not entirely satisfied with that explanation because he believed there may have been some deliberate attempt to keep his comments from airing. Both President Ray and Councilwoman Smith said they felt confident that the omission had not been intentional, but President Ray said she would look into his concerns because if there had been such a deliberate act, it would be entirely improper and not in accordance with Council's wishes .

Franklin Williams, 528 W. Market St., York, PA, shared Part III of his “Friendly York” idea, which includes: (1) People-to-People, (2) What businesses can do, and (3) Things the City government can do. Next, he reported that Pastor Rooney believes they are on their way to an agreement with Wachovia about parking. He said the city was doing what Wachovia is doing, which is prohibiting parking in its garages. Mr. Williams also spoke about parking problems associated with Lincoln Edison Charter School in that parents who park in a nearby lot trying to avoid the “great Mason Ave. blockade” are being targeted by parking officials.

Michael Miller, Alliance of Neighborhood Associations (ANA), stated that the ANA thanks the City of York and Council Members for the opportunity to review and comment on the proposed Zoning Ordinance - Part 1. The ANA and interested associates have provided specific and detailed written questions, comments, suggestions, and recommendations for Part 1 of 2 of the draft. At this mid point in the process, the citizens and neighbors have decided to provide an overview of our two prime goals and objectives to the City of York Council Members. A letter was hand delivered today to the City Clerk's office for distribution to Council and an electronic copy was also provided to Council. We are very appreciative of the Planning Commission and the consultant listening to our concerns and understanding our desire to fulfill the direction and goals of the Strategic Comprehensive Plan, which Council approved and enacted in 2009. The ANA is looking forward to reviewing and commenting on Part 2. (Read letter)

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: Mayor C. Kim Bracey, Jim Gross, Director of Public Works, Kevin Schreiber, Acting Director of Community Development and Director of Economic Development, Wes Kahley, Police Chief, John Senft, Fire Chief, and Steven Buffington, Acting Fire Chief. Also present was Assistant Solicitor Don Hoyt.

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 May 19, 2010 and unanimously approved them as written.

Correspondence and Announcements: None

PRESENTATIONS: NONE

COMMITTEE MEETINGS SCHEDULED:

Rules & Administrative Code Committee, Genevieve H. Ray, Chair: Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, July 20, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers to discuss and review results of the employee survey and related documentation regarding residency requirements and the proposed repeal of said requirement (Bill No. 12).

STATUS OF PRIOR COMMITTEE REFERRALS: None

SUBDIVISION / LAND DEVELOPMENT / HARB

Resolution No. 84, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution accepting the recommendations of HARB in issuing a certificate of appropriateness for work to be covered in the application filed by Seth Wentz for work to be done at 335 W. Princess St., was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 84 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. 19, Ordinance No. 18, Session 2010, (View) A Bill amending the 2010 CDBG & HOME Program Budgets to reflect changes resulting from actual funding levels allocated for 2010, which was introduced by Hill-Evans at the May 19 meeting of Council and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nelson, Bill No. 19, Ordinance No. 18, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

Final Passage of Resolution No. 83, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution establishing a list of fees associated with Article 741 “Park Conduct” of the Codified Ordinances, which was introduced by Smith at the May 19 meeting of Council and read in brief, came up for final passage. On motion of Smith, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 83 came up for discussion.

Director Gross explained that these fees haven't been adjusted in eight years and is reflective of cost of living increases (i.e. salaries, materials, etc.). The total increase is approximately $5 in each category. He said city residents will receive a discounted rate.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 83 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

NEW BUSINESS

Introduction of Bill 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, was introduced by Smith, read by short title, and deferred until the July 20 meeting of Council.

Resolution No. 85, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution appointing Acting Chief Steven R. Buffington as the Chief of the Department of Fire/Rescue Services effective July 14, 2010 at an annual salary of $80,000.00, was introduced by Nelson, read at length, and on motion of Nelson, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 85 came up for discussion.

Mayor Bracey read the following statement:

“Members of City Council, city department heads, city citizens, Deputy Chief Michaels, Fire officers, fire fighters, members of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local Union Number 627 and all others, good evening and thank you for the opportunity to address you tonight. It is my honor to introduce to some and to present to others Steven R. Buffington for City Council’s confirmation of my appointment of him as the next Fire Chief for the City of York’s Fire Department.

Acting Chief Buffington and I have had a professional working relationship since I began with the City of York as the Director of Community Development in 2003. I have always found him to be responsive and professional in all of our interactions. He is a native Yorker, graduating from William Penn Senior High School, and currently resides in the City of York with his wife Lori. He is a father and a very proud grandfather too.

Chief Buffington is a dedicated soul to the job. He has always gone the extra mile to provide a positive resolution to some our toughest issues faced to date. His customer service is top notch and he fully embraces our administration’s desire to eradicate blight and alleviate many building code violations known. He is also a tremendous leader. He has begun demonstrating his ability to lead our very fine fire department in assuming the position of Acting Fire Chief.

The practice of promoting capable staff members to management-level positions – rather than hiring someone from outside department – is a powerful motivation and retention tool that has been common within the Fire Department. I believe the use of this strategy has sent a clear message to our fire fighters that we reward talent, hard work and loyalty.

Internal advancement has reduced the learning curve for many of the management positions within the fire department since existing members are already familiar with the processes and policies. In addition, obviously promoting from within creates job opportunities at all levels; as one person moves up, someone else must step in to his or her role, and so on. We are real proud of our fire department and I am as equally proud of the opportunity to be able to present to you my choice for Fire Chief, Steven R. Buffington.”

Chief Buffington said he has served the City of York his entire adult life and is proud to be a part of the Department of Fire/Rescue Services along with his fellow firefighters. He said he will continue his commitment to make York a better place. He then thanked the Mayor and his family, especially his wife, for their support.

Councilwoman Smith applauded Chief Buffington and said she is very proud of him. She said Chief Buffington has been there for this community and she thanks him for his service. Members of Council congratulated Chief Buffington on his nomination.

Mayor Bracey then thanked Chief Senft, who was seated in the audience, for his years of service. She thanked him for teaching her so much throughout the years and said he is a fine example of true leadership. President Ray recognized Chief Senft and invited him to attend the July 20 Council meeting for special recognition.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 85 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 86, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution appointing Dustin Lee Gehron as a Probationary Police Officer effective June 28, 2010, was introduced by Nelson, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 86 came up for discussion.

Police Chief Kahley gave a brief background on candidate Gehron. He said we are able to hire this probationary police officer because an officer resigned to take employment overseas. He said this appointment will bring the police force up to the budgeted amount. He did say this appointment is conditional upon his passing the police academy.

President Ray asked if this condition should be noted in the Resolution. Both the City Clerk and Chief Kahley responded that conditions are noted in the “conditional letter of employment,” the terms of which were previously approved by Council, when the list of potential appointees was approved.

President Ray asked Solicitor Hoyt if Council’s previous action that included theconditions of employment was sufficient to note conditions applying to Officer Gehron. The Solicitor said the language is sufficient.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 86 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 87, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution appointing Garrick J. Solovey as a member of the York City Sewer Authority Board to fill the unexpired term of Peter Schmidt, which term shall expire January 1, 2012, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 87 came up for discussion.

Director Gross said he and Mayor Bracey met with Mr. Solovey and they were extremely impressed by his resume and qualifications. He explained that Mr. Solovey will fill the unexpired term of Peter Schmidt who recently resigned. Director Gross thanked Mr. Schmidt for his many years of service on the board and said he will definitely be missed.

SUPPLEMENTAL AGENDA

A motion was made by Smith, seconded by Hill-Evans, to waive the provisions of Resolution No. 215 of Session 1969 to permit consideration of a supplemental agenda. The motion passed unanimously. Therefore, Resolution No. 88 was introduced.

Resolution No. 88, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution awarding a contract to Kinsley Construction for the 2010 Street Improvements Project - Milling in the amount of $139,412.38, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 88 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 July 20, 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. (Note: Council will observe summer recess for its June 15 & July 6 meetings.)

ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, the June 1, 2010 meeting of Council adjourned at 7:40 p.m.