City Council Meeting Minutes
May 19, 2010
CALL TO ORDER: City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on Wednesday, May 19, 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: Henry Hay Nixon, Toni Smith, Carol Hill-Evans, Vice President, and Genevieve H. Ray, President, with President Ray presiding. Councilwoman Renee S. Nelson was absent due to a scheduling conflict.
GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT
Steve Young, 9 N. Newberry St., York, PA, said the Police Chief needs time to undo damage to the community from the past. He asked that the chief help us to help him. Mr. Young then discussed new foot patrols in the east end and how they don't speak Spanish. He suggested the police give us a pathway to communicate regularly. Mr. Young then said there was gunfire at 4 a.m. Friday night and the police report said there would be follow-up, but there was none. He said he found property damage from the gunfire though the police claim there was none. He asked that the police department show us they care and follow-up on these types of issues and possibly set up regular meetings with the community.
Edgar Rodriquez, Wholy Chicken, 320 E. Philadelphia St., York, PA, thanked individuals and groups for their willingness to launch the next Thanksgiving Day meal drive. He said last year they gave out 643 meals and propose to give out 1,200 meals this year. An essay contest for children will be launched and a banquet held at Asbury Church. Mr. Rodriquez stated that they are trying to make a difference with kids and they couldn't do it without the help of many people.
Franklin Williams, 528 W. Market St., York, PA, said at a previous Council meeting he talked about a “friendly York” and that any real change starts with people being kind, greeting each other, etc. However, this is sometimes not enough when faced with institutionalized hostility, greed, and incivility. He said he saw a Christ Lutheran parishioner's car being towed. He said Pastor Rooney said his parishioners sometimes stay downtown after church to eat, however, Wachovia's holding company has made the decision to have Intown Motors tow vehicles. Mr. Williams said Wachovia needs to act like a good neighbor and share their parking.
Charlotte Bergdoll, 515 W. Market St., York, PA, announced that fresh fruit and vegetables will be available this Saturday at Central Market with focus on strawberries. She then announced the Memorial Day Jaycees Annual Chili Cook-off at the baseball stadium and various other activities taking place in the community this month. Ms. Bergdoll then said she saw three kids skateboarding on the street, which is against the law and that we must enforce our laws. Lastly, she encouraged property owners to secure vacant buildings because people are stealing pipes, wiring, etc.
Vice President Hill-Evans read into the record a letter from citizen Mike Rhine alleging an incident where he was falsely accused of making racial comments and how two police officers made fun of his speech impediment.
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: Henry Hay Nixon, Toni Smith, Carol Hill-Evans, Vice President, and Genevieve H. Ray, President, with President Ray presiding. Councilwoman Renee S. Nelson was absent due to a scheduling conflict.
Members of the Administration in attendance included: Jim Gross, Director of Public Works, Kevin Schreiber, Director of Economic Development and Acting Director of Community Development, Steven Buffington, Acting 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 May 4, 2010 and unanimously approved them as written.
Correspondence and Announcements: President Ray read correspondence and announcements.
Martin Memorial Library Presentation: Bill Schell, CEO Martin Library, Trish Calvani, President of the York County Library System, Paula Gilbert, Director of Youth Services, and Shana Fells, SLAM Program, presented information on the following youth-based programs offered at Martin Library: (Click program name for more information)
Homework Help - Access thousand of full-text articles, chat with a librarian, search the web from child-safe search engines, find facts, and more.
Fun Stuff - Online games, music, cartoons, and books. Just for fun!
Kids' Events - York County libraries provide a wide variety of programs for kids, including story times for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers and programs especially for Tweens. Click here for a calendar of Kids' Events from around the county.
Book Discussion Groups - Book discussion groups aren't just for adults. Look in our list and you will find groups for homeschoolers, groups for 'Tweens, and even some groups for kids and dogs!
BookFLIX for Children - Watch the story and read the book! This new online literacy resource pairs classic video storybooks with related nonfiction eBooks to build a love of reading and learning.
One More Book! A podcast updated 3 times a week, which promotes and celebrates literacy and great children’s books.
A Storytime, Online! - The Screen Actors Guild Foundation is proud to bring you Storyline Online, an on-line streaming video program featuring SAG members reading children's books aloud.
The Family Place at Martin Library - This program consists of five free workshops that give parents and caregivers the opportunity to play with their children (from birth to age three) and interact with their peers in a supportive environment. There are also playgroups for graduates of the program. Registration is required.
ESL Adventures! - Looking for some great web pages about insects, birds, reptiles, and nature? Check out our ESL Adventures page!
For more information on Martin Memorial Library programs visit http://www.yorklibraries.org/ or call 846-5300.
COMMITTEE MEETINGS SCHEDULED: None
STATUS OF PRIOR COMMITTEE REFERRALS:
Rules & Administrative Code Committee, Genevieve Ray, Chair: President Ray announced that Bill No. 12 repealing the city's residency requirement remains in committee and they are currently working on finalizing a survey that will be sent to employees. Business Administrator O'Rourke said the survey is completed and the Administration will make this available on the city's intranet within the next week or two.
SUBDIVISION / LAND DEVELOPMENT / HARB
Resolution No. 74, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution accepting the recommendations of HARB in issuing a permit to BJH Construction for work to be done at 634 S. George St., Michael G. Miller for work to be done at 460 W. Market St., and L&M Rentals for work to be done at 32-40 W. King St. (former Central Public School), was introduced by Ray, read by short title, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 74 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 4; Nays – 0.
FINAL PASSAGE OF BILLS / RESOLUTIONS: None
Introduction of Bill No. 19, Session 2010, (View) A Bill amending the 2010 CDBG & HOME Program Budgets to reflect changes resulting from actual funding levels allocated for 2010, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read by short title, and deferred until the June 1 meeting of Council.
Resolution No. 75, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution reappointing Rita Van Wyk, M.D., as a member of the York City Board of Health, which term shall expire the first Monday of April 2015, appointing Eric Kirkland as an alternate member of the Zoning Hearing Board, which term shall expire January 1, 2012, and appointing Mandy Arnold as a member of Downtown Inc. (YBIDA) to fill the unexpired term of Bill Schell, which term shall expire January 1, 2013, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 75 came up for discussion.
Councilwoman Smith said she received an email late this afternoon from President Ray, transmitting concerns raised by resident Steve Young who had questioned the appointment of Mandy Arnold. She said she did not have time to research his concerns but feels, after reviewing her qualifications, that Ms. Arnold is qualified to serve on this board. Councilwoman Smith did say that she agrees that we need to be more inclusive when filling these vacancies. She also suggested that Mr. Young should have talked to Sonia Huntzinger, Downtown Inc.’s executive director.
Vice President Hill-Evans asked if there are concerns that need to be addressed regarding Ms. Arnold's appointment.
Steve Young, 9 N. Newberry St., York, PA, said his concern, in part, is that Ms. Arnold was a paid sponsor to the Mayor's Inaugural Ball, she has no direct connection to the city, and from reviewing her resume, there appears to be no vested interest outside of her financial goals. He asked Council to table the vote on this appointment to allow time to seek a restaurant owner or retail shop owner willing to occupy this open position. He also suggested publicizing board vacancies. Mr. Young spoke of several downtown businesses, including minority-owned businesses, that he said are not represented on the Downtown Inc./Business Improvement District board. He feels their presence on the board is essential. He said he was sorry to raise the issue at the eleventh hour, but said City Council’s agenda had been made public too late to allow for earlier awareness of his concerns.
Sonia Huntzinger, Executive Director, Downtown Inc., said that if this appointment is filled, there will be one vacancy remaining. She outlined the make-up of the board and explained that board members make recommendations to the Mayor for consideration of appointment. Ms. Huntzinger stated that they welcome and encourage individuals and business owners to get involved. Unfortunately, she explained, the problem with small businesses is that they don't have the time to commit to the board and commitment is key.
Councilman Nixon said an 11 member board is not large, so let's put this into perspective. He said it's common for a board to review and make recommendations because they know what's needed to achieve the mission and goals of the board.
President Ray said in his email, Mr. Young requested Council table Ms. Arnold's appointment. She asked Council if there were a motion to separate Ms. Arnold's vote. No motion was received.
City Clerk Dianna Thompson explained that Council meeting dates are advertised in January of each year, are posted on the city's website, and posted on the bulletin boards at City Hall and 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor. Also, Council's agendas are posted on the city's website, with clickable links to read each agenda item, on the Friday before the next scheduled Council meeting (if a holiday is observed, the agenda is posted on the last business day before the holiday). Therefore, there are several days available to review the agenda before Council takes action. Additionally, the agendas are also posted on the bulletin boards at 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, and City Hall located at 50 W. King St. The City Clerk then went on to explain that the Boards and Authorities are listed on the city's website at www.yorkcity.org and includes the description and purpose of each board as well as board members’ names, terms, and vacancies. In response to Mr. Young's suggestion to publicize vacancies, the City Clerk responded that as noted, the city does make efforts to publicize. However, to advertise would not be economically feasible. First, advertising of vacancies is not required by law. Second, due to high board membership turnovers (resignations, death, relocation, etc.), the cost to taxpayers to advertise such vacancies would be tremendous. The City Clerk suggested that individuals interested in serving on any boards or authorities of the city to contact her at 849-2246 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 75 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 4; Nays – 0.
Resolution No. 76, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution awarding a contract to Stewart & Tate, Inc. in the amount of $1,269,799.75 for the 2010 Street Improvements Project – Paving, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 76 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 4; Nays – 0.
Resolution No. 77, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution awarding a contract to Washington & Dowling, Inc. in the amount of $47,934.00 for the 2010 Street Improvements Project – Concrete, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 77 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 4; Nays – 0.
Resolution No. 78, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution authorizing a roofing supplies and related products and services agreement with Garland/DBS to replace/repair the roofs at Princess Street Center, Voni Grimes Gym, Rotary Kranich Building, York City Highway Garage, and Fire Station #1, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 78 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 4; Nays – 0.
Resolution No. 79, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution authorizing a budget transfer for the Sanitary Sewer Maintenance Division in the amount of $120,000.00 for costs associated with relining the Gas Ave. sanitary sewer pipe, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 79 came up for discussion.
Director Gross explained that this project was originally budgeted in 2009. However, as the project was delayed due to inclement weather and manufacturing issues, the project ran into 2010. As this expense was not included in the 2010 Budget, a transfer is being requested to move 2009 funds into the 2010 Budget.
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 79 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 4; Nays- 0.
Resolution No. 80, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution authorizing a budget transfer for the Department of Fire/Rescue Services in the amount of $4,780 for the Laurel/Rex Fire Station roof replacement project, was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 80 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 4; Nays – 0.
Resolution No. 81, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution amending the 2010 Annual Action Plan to reflect changes resulting from unallocated CDBG and HOME funds, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 81 came up for discussion.
Director Schreiber stated that these amendments, in part, include variances from previous years for various programs, an adjusted appropriation to the Community Progress Council for the First Time Homebuyers Workshop, and a decrease in the Police Departments allocation based on recommendations from HUD.
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 81 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 4; Nays – 0.
Resolution No. 82, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution authorizing the City of York to participate in a study of the feasibility of a joint municipal health insurance cooperative with a local match of no more than $5,000 for consulting services associated with this project, was introduced by Nixon, read at length, and on motion of Nixon, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 82 came up for discussion.
Business Administrator O'Rourke said this initiative would allow the City of York to participate in a study designed to determine the feasibility of a joint municipal health insurance cooperative between the Cities of York, Bethlehem, Easton, Lancaster, and Reading. The City of York would contribute no more than $5,000.00 from the Health Administration account to fund the costs of consultant services associated with this venture. Subsequently, a grant application to obtain the remaining funding for consultant services will be submitted to DCED by Easton. All five municipalities currently use the same insurer (Blue Cross) and as such have decided to investigate how we can get the most for our money.
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 82 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 4; Nays – 0.
A motion was made by Hill-Evans, seconded by Smith, to waive the provisions of Resolution No. 215 of Session 1969 to permit consideration of a supplemental agenda containing one Resolution. The motion passed unanimously. Therefore, Resolution No. 83 was introduced.
Resolution No. 83, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution establishing a list of fees associated with Article 741 “Park Conduct” of the Codified Ordinances, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and was deferred until the June 1 meeting of Council. (Note: In accordance with Ord. 19-97, fee legislation must sit for at least one meeting prior to consideration of final passage.)
REQUESTS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS: None
COUNCIL COMMENT: None
ADMINISTRATION COMMENT: None
NEXT MEETING: The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for June 1, 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 May 19, 2010 meeting of Council adjourned at 8:25 p.m.