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City Council Meeting Minutes

March 2, 2010

CALL TO ORDER: City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on Tuesday, March 2, 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. Mayor Kim Bracey was not present.

NOTE: The Tuesday, February 16, 2010 Council meeting was canceled due to conditions resulting from inclement weather.

GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT

Todd Clay, 137 S. Newberry St., York, PA, complained of traffic on S. Newberry St. and W. Princess St. and suggested different traffic patterns. He also said he was concerned about the size of the new Logos Academy building as it's larger than what he imagined.

Nina Aimable, 904 E. King St., York, PA, and Vice President of the East Side Neighborhood Association, spoke about residents placing trash out before and after collection. She said the appearance of trash gives the perception that no one cares. She said sofas, mattresses, etc. have been set out to the curb for several months. Ms. Aimable suggested that policemen could issue notices to violators that they must get rid of the trash within 24 hours or be fined. She did say, however, that the trash collectors are doing an excellent job and should be commended.

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. Mayor Kim Bracey was not present.

Members of the Administration in attendance included: Jim Gross, Director of Public Works, Kevin Schreiber, Director of Economic Development/Acting Director of Community Development, and Michael O’Rourke, Business Administrator. Wes Kahley, Acting Police Chief, John Senft, Fire Chief, Don Hoyt, Assistant Solicitor, and Shaleeta Washington, Assistant Solicitor, were absent.

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 February 2, 2010 and unanimously approved them as written.

Correspondence and Announcements: President Ray read correspondence and announcements.

PRESENTATIONS:

Commendations: The City Clerk read at length commendations from City Council and State Representative Eugene DePasquale recognizing McKinley Elementary School student Serenity Rhoades for rescuing a dog, which was near death, from a trash can near Bantz Park. Serenity was not present to receive her commendations, however, Councilwoman Smith said she would be sure she received them. (Council Commendation) (Rep. DePasquale Commendation)

Downtown Inc, Sonia Huntzinger, Executive Director: Ms. Huntzinger updated Council on the 2010 Downtown Inc Action Plan. She outlined economic development, public safety, physical appearance, marketing, events, partnerships and fundraising. The Action Plan, adopted by the Downtown Inc Board of Directors on December 14, 2009, is the organization's commitment to the community toward enhancing the quality of life in York. The Plan illustrates the intentions of Downtown Inc through the work of its committees to foster the economic vitality of downtown York. Ms. Huntzinger then answered questions from Council and the public. For more information about Downtown Inc, please visit them at www.downtownyorkpa.com. (Action Plan Brochure)

COMMITTEE MEETINGS SCHEDULED: None

STATUS OF PRIOR COMMITTEE REFERRALS

Rules & Administrative Code Committee, Council President Genevieve H. Ray, Chair – Committee members met on Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers to discuss the Rules and Procedures of Council. The Rules and proposed amendments thereto were forwarded to the Solicitor’s Office for review. The Solicitor’s Office provided an opinion and further recommendations, which are currently being reviewed by Council. Further amendments are being considered; therefore, adoption of said Rules is slated for Council’s March 16, 2010 meeting.

SUBDIVISION / LAND DEVELOPMENT / HARB

Resolution No. 36, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution accepting the recommendations of HARB in issuing a permit to Jeff Shellenberger for work to be done at 135 E. Market St., Seth Noll for work to be done at 305 E. King St. and 215 & 235 N. Beaver St., and Tim Fulton, for work to be done at 256 W. King St., (LOGOS), was introduced by Nelson, read at length, and on motion of Nelson, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 36 came up for discussion.

President Ray clarified that she did not present plans (along with Tim Fulton) for work to be done at 256 W. King St. as noted in the HARB minutes and said she would ask HARB to correct its minutes.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 36 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. 7, Ordinance No. 7, Session 2010, (View) A Bill amending the 2009-2010 Budgets to transfer 2009 unexpended Homeless Prevention & Rapid Re-Housing Program funds in the amount of $693,600.00 into the 2010 Budget, which was introduced by Hill-Evans at the February 2, 2010 meeting of Council and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nelson, Bill No. 7, Ordinance No. 7, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0. (Also see Resolution No. 40-2010)

Final Passage of Bill No. 8, Ordinance No. 8, Session 2010, (View) A Bill amending Article 165.03 "Conviction of a Crime" of the Codified Ordinances to clarify “moral turpitude” with regard to employment with the city, which was introduced by Nixon at the February 2, 2010 meeting of Council, and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Nixon, seconded by Hill-Evans, Bill No. 8 came up for discussion.

Councilman Nixon briefly outlined that this legislation amends the city's current employment provisions concerning “moral turpitude” to expand the definition to allow the city to take a number of factors into consideration before deciding to hire or not hire an applicant strictly because of the criminal background check.

Business Administrator O'Rourke added that the “moral turpitude” employment provision was adopted in the late 1950's as part of the city's Optional Charter. Administrator O'Rourke defined “moral turpitude” and provided examples in which the city could now exercise this provision. For instance, to protect its financial interests, a municipality could reasonably prohibit a person previously convicted of money laundering from working with the city’s funds. Accordingly, when a criminal background check reveals that the applicant has been convicted of a crime(s) involving moral turpitude, the City must consider how long ago the crime occurred, the duties and responsibilities of the position sought, and whether the crime reasonably bears upon the applicant’s ability to perform the job.

Nina Aimable, 904 E. King St., York, PA, asked who would make the final judgment on employment. Administrator O'Rourke said the Mayor would make the final determination.

Michael Helfrich, York, PA, further defined moral turpitude and said that some of the definitions are outright offensive. He said he believes this amendment is the right thing to do.

There being no further discussion, Bill No. 8, Ordinance No. 8, Session 2010, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

NEW BUSINESS

Introduction of Bill No. 9, Session 2010, (View) A Bill approving the 2009 Codified Ordinances replacement pages as part of the various component codes of the Codified Ordinances (approving inclusion of 2009 amendments), was introduced by Ray, read by short title, and deferred until the March 16, 2010 meeting of Council.

Introduction of Bill No. 10, Session 2010, (View) A Bill amending the 2010 Budget in the amount of $100K to cover unanticipated expenses associated with snow removal, was introduced by Smith, read by short title, and deferred until the March 16, 2010 meeting of Council.

Introduction of Bill No. 11, Session 2010, (View) A Bill amending the 2010 Budget in the amount of $90K for streetscape improvements in the 100 & 200 blocks of S. Pine St., was introduced by Smith, read by short title and came up for discussion.

Referred to committee: A motion was made by Smith, seconded by Hill-Evans, to schedule a Public Works Committee meeting to discussion Bill No. 11. The motion passed unanimously. Council scheduled a Public Works Committee meeting for Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers. President Ray said Richard Miller, YWCA Elm Street Manager, will be attending the meeting to update Council on the Olde Towne East project.

There being no further discussion, Bill No. 11 was deferred until the March 16, 2010 meeting of Council.

Resolution No. 37, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution appointing Genevieve H. Ray as Council's liaison to the Vacant Property Review Committee to serve until the first Monday of January 2012, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 37 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 38, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution reappointing Joanne Borders and Ellen B. Johnson as members of the Southeast Area Advisory Development Committee to serve until the first Monday of January 2014, was introduced by Nixon, read at length, and on motion of Nixon, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 38 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 39, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution awarding a contract in the amount of $74,902.50 to York Building Products for purchase of asphalt mixes, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 39 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 40, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution amending the 2009 Annual Action Plan to account for unallocated Homeless Prevention & Rapid Re-Housing Program funds in the amount of $693,600, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nelson, Resolution No. 40 came up for discussion.

Vice President Hill-Evans explained that these funds will be used to provide financial assistance and housing relocation and stabilization services for individuals facing homelessness. Community Progress Council will receive funding to provide housing counseling services to low income clients; the Salvation Army will receive funding to provide financial assistance in order to remain in or obtaining permanent housing; and the remaining funds will be allocated for administrative costs.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 40 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 41, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution authorizing a budget transfer for Public Works in the amount of $16,064.24 within the Liquid Fuels fund, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 41 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 42, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution authorizing a budget transfer for the Bureau of Permits, Planning & Zoning in the amount of $73,402.49 for other professional services and architectural, engineering and consultant services, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 42 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 43, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution authorizing an agreement with the PA Dept. of Health to provide a school-based dental sealant program for the period of July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011 in the amount of $50K, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 43 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

APPENDED AGENDA

A motion was made by Nixon, seconded by Ray, to read Resolution No. 44 by short title. The motion passed unanimously.

Resolution No. 44, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution declaring intent of the City of York to reimburse certain expenditures from proceeds of a bond (NWT sewer line project) was introduced by Nixon, read by short title, and on motion of Nixon, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 44 came up for discussion.

Business Administrator O’Rourke explained that, as you know, we are in the process of installing a new sewer line in the NWT project area. That project is budgeted to be paid from loan proceeds. He said we have not yet borrowed the money because there are other projects that need to be incorporated and we do not yet know which of these projects will come to fruition. In order to preserve our ability to reimburse ourselves for capital project expenditure from tax-free borrowing, we must adopt a resolution expressing the official intent of the city to reimburse itself when the money is borrowed. Afterwards, we can then reach back 60 days prior to the resolution to reimburse ourselves for project related expenses. Therefore, it is best that we do this as soon as possible. He said we will receive a low interest rate on this borrowing, as the City of York is a tax-exempt entity.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 44 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

REQUESTS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS

Public Works Committee, Councilwoman Toni Smith, Chair: Councilwoman Smith stated that at the request of members of the York City Sewer Authority, she has scheduled a Public Works Committee meeting for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 30, 2010 in Council Chambers to discuss the Sewer Authority’s plan to borrow an additional $20 million to finish its plant improvements projects. The Authority anticipates seeking Council approval for the indebtedness in April. Additionally, the Authority wants to share with Council and the Mayor the details of this project and the impact the project will have on the City.

COUNCIL COMMENT

Council member Smith, Hill-Evans and Nixon took a moment to thank Public Works Director Jim Gross and staff for a job well done in removing snow during the recent snow emergency.

ADMINISTRATION COMMENT: None

NEXT MEETING: The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for March 16, 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 March 2, 2010 meeting of Council adjourned at 8:16 p.m.