November 15, 2010

Springfield, Missouri

 

 

The City Council met in regular session November 15, 2010 in the Council Chambers at City Hall.  The meeting was called to order by Mayor James O’Neal.  A prayer was given by Jerry Compton.

 

 

Roll Call 

Present: Jerry Compton, Nicholas Ibarra, Cindy Rushefsky, John Rush, Doug Burlison, Dan Chiles, Bob Stephens, Scott Bailes and James O’Neal.  Absent: None.

 

 

Minutes 

The minutes of November 1, 2010 and November 9, 2010 were approved as presented. 

 

 

Consent Agenda

 

The Consent Agendas were finalized and approved as presented.

 

 

 

CEREMONIAL MATTERS     

 

 

Swearing-In

Jennifer Wilson could not attend this meeting.

 

 

 

RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS RAISED AT THE NOVEMBER 1, 2010 AND NOVEMBER 9, 2010 COUNCIL MEETINGS AND CITY MANAGER’S REPORT.

 

 

 

Greg Burris, City Manager, responded all questions had been answered.  Mr. Burris noted the equipment used to place text on the bottom of the screen for the televised meeting is broken.  He added that hopefully the equipment will be fixed by the next meeting.  Mr. Burris noted the City is now clear on the ability to pay an annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) granted to Police and Fire retirees.  He added the Missouri Attorney General’s office clarified their position on the COLA payment to retirees in relation to State law.  Mr. Burris noted the City filed a lawsuit in June 2010 seeking a court judgment on the issue after staff was unable to receive unified guidance from the Attorney General or the Missouri Joint Committee on Public Employee Retirement Systems.  He added that compounding the issue,was conflicting State and local laws.  Mr. Burris noted it was unfortunate that some retirees thought they were being sued, but by law all recipients had to be party to the suit.  He added the intent in filing the suit was to go to bat for retirees and eliminate any uncertainty about paying the COLA.  Mr. Burris noted the November sales tax check was down 5.5% relative to November of last year.  He added the City is approximately 2.6% above the previous year’s revenues.  Mr. Burris noted the negative 5.5% represents approximately $115,000 and the positive 2.6% amount represents about $367,000.  Mr. Burris noted that Paul Williams, Police Chief, recently attended a profiling event regarding racial profiling.  He added that Chief Williams asked the speaker, nationally known expert Dr. David Harris, to review an executive summary of how Springfield examines data to identify possible racial profiling.  Mr. Burris noted Dr. Harris confirmed staff is using the correct methodology to look for such trends, and agreed that the Springfield Police Departments traffic stops, search rates, and hit rates (when contraband is found) do not show any indication of racial profiling. Dr. Harris did note that the Police Department should look at the data for consent searches to see if the same holds true.  He added that Chief Williams will follow through with this recommendation.  Mr. Burris noted the Police Department has named Corporal Matt Brown as the new Public Affairs Officer.  He added this position was eliminated as part of budget cuts, but has been reinstated due to the recent COPS Hiring grant.

Nick Ibarra asked if there had been any updates regarding the bridge over West Kearney Street.  Steve Meyer, Interim Co-Director of Public Works, responded that no decisions have been made at this time.   Mr. Burris noted the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), the bridge inspector, and staff hope to present a report to Council before Thanksgiving.  He added the aforementioned entities are working on a forensic analysis of the bridge to determine the cause of the collapse.

Mr. Ibarra asked Brenda Cirtin, City Clerk, for clarification regarding questions about garage sale permit requirements he sent to her to forward to the Law Department for review.  Ms. Cirtin responded she forwarded the information.  Dan Wichmer, City Attorney, noted staff is still reviewing the issue and will respond as soon as possible.

Mr. Burlison expressed concern regarding full body scanners being implemented at the Airport next year.  He asked for a report from the Health Department regarding the levels of radiation from the scanners and how safe they actually are.

 

 

The following bills appeared on the agenda under Public Hearing:

 

 

The following bills appeared on the agenda under First Reading bills:

 

 

Memorandum of Understanding with the FBI

Sponsor: Stephens.  Council Bill 2010-291. A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, on behalf of the City of Springfield, Missouri, to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) concerning participation in the Kansas City Division Cyber Crime Task Force; and approving a cost reimbursement agreement.

 

 

 

Chief Williams gave a brief description of the proposed.  He noted the proposed would allow the City to provide one investigator to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Cyber Crimes Task Force housed in Springfield.  He added the FBI offers two options: the opportunity to a municipality to assign a person to the Kansas City office of the FBI for three years, where they work in their state of the art lab; or, the option included in the proposed, where an investigator is made available to the FBI on an as-needed basis, which generally works out to three days per week, but stays in Springfield.  Chief Williams noted the FBI pays overtime, provides training, provides a vehicle, and offers access to their lab in Kansas City as needed.  He added an investigator has been chosen and is currently going through the background process with the FBI in case the proposed is approved.

Mr. Chiles asked for clarification regarding identity theft not being included in the language of the proposed.  Chief Williams responded that all possible crimes can’t be listed, so the proposed includes a “general” list of crimes, nothing specific.

 

Mr. Burlison asked if the proposed would include any extra authority for police personnel in regards to abiding by the due process of law.  Chief Williams responded that is not the intent of the Police Department.  Mr. Wichmer responded he will review the issue and get a response for Mr. Burlison.  Mr. Burlison asked for a copy of the Federal legislation in regards to his concern.

 

Mr.  Rush asked if an officer would be working full-time in the proposed position.  Chief Williams responded the proposed would allow for a full-time officer for this position, which would bring the total for the proposed grant to 2 sworn officers and 1 unsworn officer.

 

 

An opportunity was given for citizens to express their views. With no appearances, the discussion was closed.

 

 

Council Bill 2010-292 and Council Bill 2010-293 were read and discussed simultaneously.

 

Series 2000 Refunded Bonds

Sponsor: O’Neal.  Council Bill 2010-292. A special ordinance authorizing and directing the conditional call for redemption of the Series 2000 Refunded Bonds (as defined below); authorizing and approving certain documents in connection therewith; authorizing certain other documents and actions in connection therewith; and declaring an emergency. 

 

 

Series 1998 Refunded Bonds

Sponsor: O’Neal.  Council Bill 2010-293. A special ordinance authorizing and directing the issuance, sale and delivery by the City of Springfield, Missouri, of Special Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2010B in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $11,820,000 for the purpose of refunding the Series 1998 Refunded Bonds and the Series 2000 Refunded Bonds (as defined below); authorizing and approving certain documents in connection with the issuance of the Bonds; authorizing certain other documents and actions in connection therewith; and declaring an emergency. 

 

 

 

Mary Mannix-Decker, Director of Finance, gave a brief description of the proposed bills.  She noted the proposed bills are a bond refunding, which is very similar to what was done in the Spring of 2010.  She added that periodically staff reviews all outstanding bond issues to determine if interest rates have dropped enough, so that the City can take advantage of the lower interest rates.  Ms. Mannix-Decker noted the City’s policy has always been to take advantage of the lower rates and save on payments, so that terms of the bond have never been extended.  She added currently there are historically low rates, which is why they are coming before Council more than they normally would.  Ms. Mannix-Decker noted the bonds being considered tonight where issued in 1998 and 2000.  She added they are Public Building Corporation bonds.  Ms. Mannix-Decker noted the proceeds of the bonds were used for land acquisition and construction of Jordan Valley Park and are repaid by the hotel/motel tax.  She added with the refunding the bonds will be combined and will become a 2010 issue of approximately $12 million.  Ms. Mannix-Decker noted the current rate on the bonds is about 5.7%.  She added the refunding rate will be slightly over 3%.  Ms. Mannix-Decker noted the lower interest rate will free-up about $200,000 per year.  She added that half of the aforementioned amount will be recognized this year, and then through the term of the bonds in 2021 the City will be recognizing about $200,000 in savings per year.  Ms. Mannix-Decker noted the aforementioned savings has the potential, beginning in the 2012 budget, to lower the subsidy that the general fund is paying to the hotel/motel tax to pay for all the Jordan Valley Park bonds.  Ms. Mannix-Decker noted that Council Bill 2010-292 is related to a call-provision for the 2000 bonds.  She added those bonds require Council to take action to call the bonds, which is why that separate Council bill is required.  Ms. Mannix-Decker noted Council Bill 2010-292 is listed an emergency because the City is required to give the bond holders 30-days notice in order to call the bonds.  She added that Council Bill 2010-293 is the bill that authorizes the refunding of the bonds and the signature of the documents.

Mr. Bailes asked for clarification regarding which subsidy will be lowered due to the savings received from the lower interest rate on the bonds.  Ms. Mannix-Decker responded the saving would have the potential to reduce the subsidy the general fund pays to the hotel/motel tax. 

Mr. Ibarra asked for clarification regarding extending the terms of the bonds.  Ms. Mannix-Decker responded the term is up in 2021 regardless of the series.  Mr. Ibarra asked for elaboration on the term included in the proposed that states “the bonds shall not constitute a general obligation of the City, nor shall the bonds constitute an indebtedness of the City”.  Ms. Mannix-Decker responded in order for the City to actually enter into debt it requires a public vote.  She added these bonds are called “annual appropriation” bonds, in that the City pledges to make the payment every year, and therefore they don’t meet the constitutional definition of indebtedness.

Mayor O'Neal asked for clarification regarding the status of the City bond rating.  Ms. Mannix-Decker responded staff expects to have the rating within the next couple of days.

 

 

 

An opportunity was given for citizens to express their views.  With no appearances, the discussion was closed.

 

 

 

Council Bill 2010-292.  Special Ordinance 25834 was approved by the following vote: Ayes: Compton, Ibarra, Rushefsky, Rush, Burlison, Chiles, Stephens, Bailes, and O’Neal. Nays: None. Absent: None. Abstain: None.

 

 

Adopting Internal Auditors Annual Audit Working Plan

Sponsor: Chiles, Compton, Burlison, and Rush.  Council Bill 2010-294. A special ordinance adopting the Internal Auditor’s annual Audit Working Plan. (Finance and Administration Committee recommends approval.)

 

 

 

Kristy Bork, Internal Auditor, gave a brief overview of the proposed.  Ms. Bork noted the proposed was reviewed at a Finance and Administration Committee meeting.  She added the proposed is based off of the work done by her predecessor and suggestions from the State Audit in 2007.  Ms. Bork noted the Finance and Administration Committee recommended she look at the following three items: telecommunication receipts; cash collection processes; and review of the hotel/motel tax.   

Mr. Chiles asked if Ms. Bork will be available at future meetings to answer questions in regards to the recommendations made in the State Audit and how they are being implemented.  Ms. Bork responded affirmatively adding that she plans to prepare a report for Council to update them on this issue within the next couple of months.

Ms. Rushefsky asked if Ms. Bork would be looking at ways the City can improve the procedures currently in place, not just that they are being complied with.  Ms. Bork responded affirmatively, adding that she will be working with all departments to make sure they are complying and also look at concerns and then provide recommendations to correct the issue.

 

Mayor O’Neal expressed his appreciation to Ms. Rushefsky and Ms. Bork for their recent meeting with him regarding the current cash handling procedures.

 

 

 

An opportunity was given for citizens to express their views. With no appearances, the discussion was closed.

 

 

Surplus Vacant City Land

Sponsor: Rushefsky.  Council Bill 2010-295. A special ordinance adopting new guidelines to broaden the uses for which surplus vacant City land may be conveyed to not-for-profits and educational institutions on certain conditions and repealing Special Ordinance No. 22861.

 

 

 

Collin Quigley, Assistant City Manager, gave a brief description of the proposed.  Mr. Quigley noted the proposed would allow vacant surplus City land to be used for not-for-profit organizations and educational institutions on certain conditions.  He added in 1995 Council passed an ordinance that allowed vacant City land to be used as building sites for low-income housing, which has experienced success by creating a number of low-income housing.  Mr. Quigley noted the City has been approached by not-for-profit organizations who desire to use vacant City property for community gardens.  He added the City has also been approached by educational institutions who would like to use vacant City properties for constructing low-income housing as part of their educational mission.  Mr. Quigley noted the proposed would amend Special Ordinance 22861 to allow for the proposed new uses.

 

Ms. Rushefsky asked if the proposed would be a sale of property, if there would be a fee, and will the organization keep the property forever or will there be a timeframe in place.  Mr. Quigley responded the transaction would be a transfer of land at no charge to help benefit the community.  He added there is a stipulation in the contract that the land could come back to the City under certain circumstances, such as nuisance complaints.

 

 

 

An opportunity was given for citizens to express their views. With no appearances, the discussion was closed.

 

 

James River Basin Partnership Grant

Sponsor: Compton.  Council Bill 2010-296. A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, on behalf of the City of Springfield, to apply for and accept the award of a grant from the James River Basin Partnership (JRBP) for the purpose of funding innovative stormwater quality practices, including pervious pavement and a rain garden, within the Park Central East and West Streetscape project; to enter into an agreement with JRBP; to do all things necessary to carry out the intent of this grant; and amending the budget for the Public Works Department for fiscal year 2010-2011 in the amount of $10,000.

 

 

 

Martin Gugel, Co-Interim Traffic Engineer, gave a brief description of the proposed.  Mr. Gugel noted the proposed grant would be used on the Park Central East and West streetscape projects to help fund the water quality improvements required by unfunded mandates.  He added the proposed grant would help facilitate improvements including rain gardens and pervious concrete elements to address street run-off.  Mr. Gugel noted the improvements on this project would total approximately $15,900 to which the proposed grant will help pay for.

Mr. Ibarra asked how the James River Basin Partnership is funded.  Mr. Wichmer responded they are co-operative of several cities and organizations that each pays an annual membership fee. 

Mr. Ibarra asked if the MS4 unfunded Federal mandates issue would be reviewed by the Wastewater Tax Force.  Mr. Meyer responded in the negative.   Mr. Ibarra asked if the acceptance of the proposed grants would put the City under any further mandates.  Mr. Meyer responded in the negative.

Mr. Burlison asked for clarification regarding “funneling” of stormwater.  Mr. Gugel responded the pervious concrete will be used in areas that are not adjacent to properties with basements.

 

 

 

An opportunity was given for citizens to express their views. With no appearances, the discussion was closed.

 

 

 

The following bills appeared on the agenda under Resolutions:

 

              

City’s Green Building Policy/New Police and Fire Training Center

Sponsor: Rushefsky.  Council Bill 2010-297. A resolution granting an exemption to the City of Springfield under the City’s Green Building Policy for the new Police and Fire Training Center.

 

 

 

Ralph Rognstad, Director of Planning, gave a brief description of the proposed.  He noted the designer preparing the plan for the new Police and Fire training center is having difficulty meeting the requirements for the energy performance points required for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification.  He added the City policy requires seven energy performance points, which is 31.5% of energy savings over a normally designed building.  Mr. Rognstad noted the proposed would allow for an exemption of two points, lowering the requirement to five points.  He added the designer determined they can achieve six points with only an additional $10,000 cost, so staff is requesting an amendment to change the number of points required from five to six. 

 

Mr. Chiles expressed support of the proposed.  He expressed his belief that forgoing the additional point will help to spend City money wisely, rather than spending the additional funds to achieve that one extra point.

 

Mr. Chiles moved to amend Council Bill 2010-297, Section 1, by striking the word and number 5 and replacing it with the number 6 and the word “six”.  Mr. Burlison seconded the motion and it was approved by the following vote: Ayes: Compton, Ibarra, Rushefsky, Rush, Burlison, Chiles, Stephens, Bailes, and O’Neal. Nays: None. Absent: None. Abstain: None.

 

 

 

An opportunity was given for citizens to express their views. With no appearances, the discussion was closed.

 

 

 

Amended Council Bill 2010-297.  Resolution 9835 was approved by the following vote: Ayes: Compton, Ibarra, Rushefsky, Rush, Burlison, Chiles, Stephens, Bailes, and O’Neal. Nays: None. Absent: None. Abstain: None.

 

 

 

The following bills appeared on the agenda under Emergency bills:

 

 

 

The following bills appeared on the agenda under Public Improvements.

 

 

 

The following bills appeared on the agenda under Grants.

 

 

 

The following bills appeared on the agenda under Second Reading:

 

 

COPS Grant

Sponsor: Bailes.  Council Bill 2010-282. A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to accept a COPS Hiring Program Grant from the United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), for the purpose of funding the hiring of entry-level police officers; to amend the budget provided for the Police Department of the City of Springfield, Missouri, for fiscal year 2010-2011, in the amount of $2,152,620; and declaring an emergency.

 

 

 

Mr. Ibarra asked Ms. Mannix-Decker about the budget adjustment including the term FICA.  Ms. Mannix-Decker responded that the budget adjustment should not say FICA, but should say Medicare only.  She added that Police Officer’s don’t have Social Security.

Ms. Cirtin noted the aforementioned error could be considered a scrivener’s error and the corrected Exhibit A will be attached to the proposed.

 

 

 

Council Bill 2010-282.  Special Ordinance 25835 was approved by the following vote: Ayes: Compton, Ibarra, Rushefsky, Rush, Burlison, Chiles, Stephens, Bailes, and O’Neal. Nays: None. Absent: None. Abstain: None.

 

 

Intergovernmental Agreement with MSU

Sponsor: O’Neal.  Council Bill 2010-285. A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, on behalf of the City of Springfield, Missouri, to enter into an addendum to an intergovernmental agreement with Missouri State University (MSU) (Contract #2008-0686, dated July 9, 2008) to replace certain sewer lines, and amending the budget for the Department of Public Works for fiscal year 2010-2011 in the amount of $135,460.34.

 

 

 

Council Bill 2010-285.  Special Ordinance 25836 was approved by the following vote: Ayes: Ibarra, Rushefsky, Rush, Burlison, Chiles, Stephens, Bailes, and O’Neal. Nays: None. Absent: None. Abstain: Compton.

 

 

 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

 

 

 

PETITIONS, REMONSTRANCES, AND COMMUNICATIONS

 

 

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

 

After-Hours Clubs Ordinance

Council referred the proposed After-Hours Clubs ordinance to the Community Involvement Committee.

 

 

 

The following bills appeared on the agenda under Consent Agenda – First Reading Bills.

 

 

 

The following bills appeared on the agenda under Consent Agenda – One Reading Bills.

 

 

Drainage Easement: 3126 W. Chestnut

Sponsor: Ibarra.  Council Bill 2010-298. A resolution granting the request to waive the application fees for an application to relinquish a drainage easement generally located at 3126 West Chestnut. (Staff recommends approval.)

 

 

 

Council Bill 2010-298.  Resolution 9836 was approved by the following vote: Ayes: Compton, Ibarra, Rushefsky, Rush, Burlison, Chiles, Stephens, Bailes, and O’Neal. Nays: None. Absent: None. Abstain: None.

 

 

 

The following bills appeared on the agenda under Consent Agenda – Second Reading Bills.

 

 

Amending Merit Rules

Sponsor: O’Neal.  Council Bill 2010-284. A general ordinance amending Section 2-91 of the Springfield City Code known as the Merit System Rules and Regulations by amending portions of the Merit System Rules, specifically Merit Rule 11.5 – Outside Employment and Merit Rule 26.8(b) – Controlled Substances, and establishing an effective date for said changes. (Personnel Board supports the change.)

 

 

 

Council Bill 2010-284.  General Ordinance 5908 was approved by the following vote: Ayes: Compton, Ibarra, Rushefsky, Rush, Burlison, Chiles, Stephens, Bailes, and O’Neal. Nays: None. Absent: None. Abstain: None.

 

 

 

Council confirmed the following appointments to the Building Trades Examination and Certification Board:  Jim McGuire; Jonathan P. Welsh; and Richard W. McLain with terms to expire October 1, 2013. 

 

 

 

Council confirmed the following appointment to the Landmarks Board:  Laurel Bryant with term to expire November 1, 2011. 

 

 

Closed Session

Mr. Ibarra moved to hold a closed meeting for the purpose of discussing leasing, purchase or sale of real estate by a governmental body where public knowledge of the transaction might adversely affect the legal consideration therefore, pursuant to section 610.021 (2), RSMO.2009; and this meeting, record, and vote to be closed and the City Council shall stand adjourned at the end of the closed session.  Mr. Burlison seconded the motion and it was approved by the following vote: Ayes: Compton, Ibarra, Rushefsky, Rush, Burlison, Chiles, Stephens, Bailes, and O’Neal. Nays: None. Absent: None. Abstain: None.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                           Brenda M. Cirtin, MMC/MPCC

11/15/10 lh

                                                           City Clerk