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City Council Meeting Minutes
December 7, 2009
2010 Budget Hearing
1. Roll Call
Mayor Klausing called to order the Roseville City Council regular meeting at approximately 6:00 pm and welcomed everyone. Mayor Klausing reviewed the schedule and process for tonight’s various meetings.
(Voting and Seating Order for December: Johnson; Roe; Ihlan; Pust; and Klausing)
City Attorney Scott Anderson was also present.
2. Public Comment (non-budgetary items)
No one appeared to speak on non-budgetary items at this time.
3. 2010 Budget Hearing
Finance Director Chris Miller provided an overview of the 2010 budgeting process and the status of the 2010 City Budget and Tax Levy at this time. City Department Heads were present to address any questions of the public or City Council. Mr. Miller clarified that tonight’s presentation was specific to the City of Roseville’s portion of the property tax, as one of the taxing jurisdictions representing those property tax statements.
Mr. Miller reviewed this year’s budget priorities and the Budgeting for Outcomes (BFO) process partially implemented this year, with input from citizens, staff and the City Council in identifying and ranking program and service priorities. Mr. Miller advised that this was a result of past practice with the City on an unsustainable financial path; and City Council-adopted financial policies requiring balanced budgets and strong cash reserve levels; and declining state aid, investment earnings, and other non-tax revenue used to fund various City services and programs. Mr. Miller further reviewed 2010 Budget impact items, including loss of state aid, re-establishing vehicle replacements, contractual obligations/mandates, Fire Relief pension obligations, street and facility maintenance, and increased employee healthcare costs.
Mr. Miller concluded by noting that the proposed 2010 Budget is $37.7 million, with $18.4 million in tax-supported funds; with decreased spending in those tax-supported funds of $211,000; with the Tax Levy required to support that budget for 2010 in the amount of $14.3 million, an increase of $1,161,140 or 8.8%, unless revised by the City Council before year-end.
Councilmember Ihlan opined that the City Council was going forward with this Budget Hearing meeting without the benefit of the line item budget actually proposed to support the requested tax levy increase; and for the record advised that she had requested this information several times informally during City Council discussions over the last few months; and had ultimately been forced to make a formal public information request based on the City Council majority of Mayor Klausing and Councilmembers Roe and Johnson voting her motions down. Councilmember Ihlan advised that she had still not received this information, even after her formal public information request, other than for receiving information related to non tax-supported funds, and a response letter from staff and their advising that the information had not yet been developed for the 2010 budget related to tax-supported programs and services. Councilmember Ihlan advised that this would make it difficult for her to respond to public requests for this information.
Mayor Klausing opened the Public Hearing at 6:33 pm to receive comment on the proposed 2010 City Budget; and reviewed the process, respectfully requesting that speakers keep their comments within a five minute time limit to allow all those wishing to speak the time to do so.
Dick Lambert, 800 Brenner Avenue
Mr. Lambert provided a bench handout and referenced his perspective and research on property tax comparisons in contract to those presented by Mr. Miller, including per capita comparisons and trends. Mr. Lambert noted the annual Roseville tax levy increases versus annual Roseville resident average wage increases; and asked that the City Council consider the impacts of the proposed tax levy on those unemployed or on fixed incomes.
Mr. Lambert advised that he didn’t understand the BFO process and offered no specific solutions; but asked that Councilmembers take the skills and experience from their successful personal lives, and use them for their extended Roseville family of constituents.
Alan Wolhaupt, 3000 Asbury Street
Mr. Wolhaupt expressed his opposition to the proposed increase on his taxes over the 2009 payable, in the amount of $38, even though his real estate value decreased. Mr. Wolhaupt advised that he was on disability and would not be receiving any COLA on this income, and that this increase, even though small, would be difficult on his fixed income.
Gary Grefenberg, 91 Mid Oaks Lane
Mr. Grefenberg provided his interpretation of the statistics presented by Mr. Miller, opining that 50% of the average homeowners in Roseville saw less than a 5% decline or that their taxes remained stagnant. Mr. Grefenberg advised that his property value remained the same; but noted that Roseville led the pack this time with its proposed levy percentage increase, higher than that proposed by either Ramsey County or the School District. Mr. Grefenberg advised that he would experience an increase in taxes of 10.9%, opining that his situation was not unique for property owners, and that others were seeing significant tax increases, and when those property owners were on a fixed income, such as him, this was a significant increase. Mr. Grefenberg advised that he didn’t object to vehicle replacements and recognized the problem coming from the State of MN and reductions in local government aid, but noted that Roseville received no government aid; and didn’t understand their rationale for making up in one year past losses when wages remained stagnant and unemployment was so high. Mr. Grefenberg opined that the proposed budget was not fair, and was asking senior citizens, those with frozen wages, and those unemployed to pay more when they were paid less.
Mr. Grefenberg referenced Mr. Lambert’s comparison of levy increases versus resident wage increases; and noted that, whether these statistics were valid or not, this was not a good economy to propose higher taxes, when the only ones asked to sacrifice are property tax payers. Mr. Grefenberg spoke in support of City employee wages, as public servants, to make further reductions in conference attendance, further reductions in overtime, and additional wage concessions such as step increases and previously-negotiated contract wages being frozen. Mr. Grefenberg opined that this represented just a few items he considered “low hanging fruit” that was available to further reduce the City’s budget from a staff perspective. Mr. Grefenberg further opined that the reductions taken mid-year in 2009 to the adopted budget didn’t appear to cripple the City in providing adequate services.
Jon Abeler, 2339 Roselawn
Mr. Abeler noted that his TNT statement showed his property taxes actually declining; however, he recognized that this was not the case for all property owners; and expressed concern that in this tough economy, there were still increases in the City’s budget that were being borne by taxpayers. Mr. Abeler opined that this was not good for the community in the long-run; and expressed concern that future increases would be forthcoming. Mr. Abeler asked that the City Council accept their call to do what they could to keep costs in line now and in the future.
John Kysylyczyn, 3083 N Victoria Street
Mr. Kysylyczyn advised for the record, that his property taxes were going down, but only due to his appeal to Ramsey County to reduce its value. Mr. Kysylyczyn repeated past comments that he didn’t appreciate the lobbying and misleading information provided on an annual basis by staff on the budgeting process (e.g. comparison with peer cities), noting that those comparisons cities (Maplewood and Shoreview) had community centers; and that another (St. Louis Park) applied half of their recycling profits to taxes. Mr. Kysylyczyn further criticized the comparisons of City services to those of select utility bills; addressed the fees applied for services and programs in lieu of taxes; expressed his concern that there were more employees and Advisory Commissioners present at the community meetings held on the BFO process than private citizens, indicating a complete and total failure in marketing by staff; and referred to the line items budgets available during his tenure as Mayor. Mr. Kysylyczyn questioned whether the City Council was doing everything it could to reduce this huge tax increase, such as not paying for two leaf dumps; alleged billing of taxpayers by staff for producing a video, even if the money came from cable franchise fees and not property taxes; and suggested that he could come up with other numerous examples; and advocated for a line item budget being made available to the public online for the process to be meaningful.
Mayor Klausing closed the Public Hearing at 7:03 pm thanking speakers for their comments and attendance and reconvened in regular session.
Regular City Council Meeting
2. Approve Agenda
Councilmember Roe requested removal of Consent Item 7.e entitled, “Approve Temporary Banners for Metro Transit’s Park and Ride Facility.”
By consensus, the agenda was approved as amended.
3. Public Comment
4. Council Communications, Reports, Announcements and Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) Report
Councilmember Roe announced the next meeting of the Parks and Master Plan Citizen Advisory Group scheduled for December 16, 2009; and invited the public to attend and/or provide their input through other opportunities on this Master Planning process.
5. Recognitions, Donations, Communications
6. Approve Minutes
a. Approve Minutes of November 23, 2009 Regular Meeting
Johnson moved, Klausing seconded, approval of the minutes of the November 23, 2009 Regular Meeting as amended.
Page 15, Lines 40-45 (Klausing)
Correct to Read:
“Mayor Klausing expressed his personal frustration that Councilmembers [believed they] were not receiving sufficient background information, when any individual requests of staff that he’d made had been readily fulfilled or received staff responses. Mayor Klausing opined that, if a Councilmember was not supportive of the City Manager-proposed budget, it was their responsibility to propose an alternative. [For example,] by [making a shift] shifting from one department to another department, and what the collective body would…”
Ayes: Johnson; Roe; Ihlan; Pust; and Klausing.
7. Approve Consent Agenda
There were no additional changes to the Consent Agenda than those previously noted. At the request of Mayor Klausing, City Manager Bill Malinen briefly reviewed those items being considered under the Consent Agenda.
a. Approve Payments
Klausing moved, Johnson seconded, approval of the following claims and payments as presented.
56979 - 57094
b. Approve Business Licenses
Klausing moved, Johnson seconded, approval of business license applications for the period of one year, for the following applicants:
Type of License
Optimal Wellness Solutions, LLC
d/b/a Mind Body & Soul Wellness Center
2201 Lexington Avenue N
Pawn America Minnesota, LLC, d/b/a Pawn America
1715 Rice Street N
Pawn Shop /
Precious Metal Dealer
Golden Experience, LLC, d/b/a Goldmaxx
10 Rosedale Center
Precious Metal Dealer
c. Approve General Purchases or Sale of Surplus Items Exceeding $5,000
Klausing moved, Johnson seconded, approval of general purchases and/or contracts as follows:
Network Storage Devices
Water/Sewer line inspection device
d. Confirm Advisory Commission Reappointment / Appointment Process
Mayor Klausing noted several discrepancies for clarification in the Request for Council Action referencing the participation of the Vice Chair, with usually only the Advisory Commission Chairs involved in the process; and requirement for a minimum of five Councilmembers involved in the interview process, with the interviews based on having a quorum of Councilmembers present with the interviews recorded and broadcast for those Councilmembers unable to attend interviews at the allotted time.
Klausing moved, Johnson seconded, confirmation of the Citizen Advisory Commission Reappointment/Appointment Process as detailed in the Request for Council Action dated December 7, 2009.
a. Approve Temporary Banners for Metro Transit’s Park and Ride Facility (former Consent Item 7.e)
At the request of Mayor Klausing, City Manager Malinen briefly summarized this request as detailed in the Request for Council Action dated December 7, 2009.
Councilmember Roe noted Section 1.5 of the Request stipulating installation for no more than 20 days, consistent with code allowance, and suggested that a specific time frame should be part of the motion.
Community Development Director Patrick Trudgeon advised that, assuming the request was approved; the sign would be installed Tuesday, December 8th and allowed for a period of 20 days thereafter.
Roe moved, Johnson seconded, approval of the requested temporary sign for Metro Transit and the park and ride facility at Iona Lane and Mount Ridge Road, as detailed in the Request for Council Action dated December 7, 2009; with the authorization period for the temporary banners effective from Tuesday, December 8, 2009, and not to exceed 20 days thereafter.
9. General Ordinances for Adoption
a. Finalize the 2010 Budget and Property Tax Levy
Mayor Klausing clarified that the agenda topic was misleading, as finalization of the Budget could not be completed until two weeks following the Budget Hearing held earlier this evening; and that the purpose of this item was for further City Council discussion to find consensus on budget issues.
Ihlan moved, Pust seconded, to direct staff to provide a 2010 line item budget for tax-supported items for Councilmembers and the public.
Councilmember Ihlan advised that she had repeatedly made this request to no avail; and had therefore been forced to file a public data information request. Councilmember Ihlan opined that it was hard to find actual suggestions for decision-making without that information and line items.
Mayor Klausing noted that this discussion had been previously held; and questioned how not having that information available would inhibit the City Council from having a substantive discussion on the 2010 budget at a program level. Mayor Klausing opined that the process was working well and enabled individual Councilmembers as well as corporately as a body to identify the important programs and services of the City and rank their priorities. Mayor Klausing noted staff’s previous explanation that, as a practical matter, it was not physically possible to put together that information without a time-consuming process until they had received additional directive from the City Council for allocation; and again opined that the information was not necessary for the Council to have a thoughtful and intelligent discussion about the budget.
Mr. Kysylyczyn expressed confusion that he had been informed that the information was available on the City’s website, and since the information was public, no member of the City Council had the right to tell another member that they didn’t need a certain piece of public information. Mr. Kysylyczyn suggested that, if staff refused to comply with the request, a complaint could be filed with the State of MN as had been done in the past. Mr. Kysylyczyn questioned why this was under debate; and suggested that no one should be opposed to the distribution of public information.
City Manager Malinen clarified that the information available on the City’s website was 2009 information, and for all intents, purposes and application, it was the budget from which everyone was working for 2010. Mr. Malinen further clarified that staff had yet to change that 2009 budget, with the exception of the reductions made mid-year in 2009, and as referenced as the previously-held public hearing, when the 2009 budget was reduced by $450,000, and which were reflected in the matrix from which the public and City Council were currently working. Mr. Malinen advised that, since the Budgeting for Outcomes (BFO) process was not being used for the non tax-supported programs, staff was able to follow the normal process and provide that information to Councilmember Ihlan as requested; however they were unable to provide more detail on the tax-supported budget line items as the document had yet to be created. Mr. Malinen advised that the base line 2009 budget document, with line item attachments and detail, was currently being used for development of the 2010 budget.
Councilmember Johnson opined that, when the City Council majority had chosen to follow the BFO process this year, he had made a commitment as a Councilmember to that process. Councilmember Johnson noted that, at that time, Councilmember Ihlan had expressed her discomfort with that BFO process. Councilmember Johnson, however, noted that Councilmember Ihlan’s motion was requesting the City to do two types of budgets at the same time; a labor intensive feat that would defeat the purpose of giving this budget process a fair chance. Councilmember Johnson reiterated his commitment to the process, and out of respect for that commitment, could not support Councilmember Ihlan’s motion.
Councilmember Roe noted that City Manager Malinen had made the point that the 2009 information was available, and advised that he was using this information as he proceeded through the BFO process for the 2010 budget. Councilmember Roe noted, that going in to the BFO process for the 2011 budget, the line item detail would then be included as part of this first year’s process and reflecting the changes made by the City Council this year. Councilmember Roe opined that, in the decision-making process, it was not right to say that the information was not needed; however, he further opined that it was not right to say that the City Council and public did not have the information, since the detail was available with the 2009 budget.
Councilmember Pust spoke in support of the motion, as well as previous requests for 2010 budget detail of Councilmember Ihlan, not based on her respect of the BFO process. Councilmember Pust noted that she’d heard that providing the information was a time-consuming task for staff, while also hearing that it was not labor intensive. Councilmember Pust reviewed the information that Councilmember Ihlan had received from staff when she filed the data practices information request, included for Council information tonight that included budget expenditure summaries for all the various funds and for 2010 budget numbers, with some lines “x’d” out and a total figure put in from the BFO process. Ms. Pust further noted that 2009 budget numbers were included, and if 2010 budget numbers were the same as 2009, staff could have transferred that information; and if it wasn’t the same, based on the 10 items that had been adjusted mid-year in 2009, staff could have indicated those different figures for those 10 items. Councilmember Pust opined that it wasn’t the Council’s job to decide what Councilmembers needed during the budget process, and that she needed to be treated fairly even if all Councilmembers were not in agreement on the information needed. Councilmember Pust noted that at previous meetings, she had heard Finance Director Miller say that providing the information would be extremely labor-intensive; but now she was hearing that the same numbers could be moved from one column to another. Councilmember Pust suggested that, in an attempt to get along, those numbers could have been provided as requested.
Councilmember Roe questioned if the budget expenditure summary was what Councilmember Ihlan was seeking, or if she was seeking other documents detailing all tax-supported items, and asked for clarification of her request.
Councilmember Ihlan clarified that her request was for a line item corresponding to the proposed tax levy; which she had received for fee-supported programs, but not for tax-supported items. Councilmember Ihlan asked, if the 2010 tax-supported levy was essentially the same as 2009 except for a few line items, why those specific line items could not be changed and spreadsheets run similar to those on line for 2009. Councilmember Ihlan advised that what she and the public were expected to do is look at 2009 numbers that were not the same on key issues where staff was proposing increases, creating confusion for her and the public on where those increases are coming from. Councilmember Ihlan opined that her request was simple, and was all public information. Councilmember Ihlan advised that she was not happy being forced to make a public data information request; and expressed disappointment that fellow Councilmembers would not support her request, suggesting it was simply a power play and reiterating her request for their support for the benefit of her and the public, to achieve the best budget possible and proper funding for services.
Finance Director Miller provided clarification and advised that the public data information request of Councilmember Ihlan, under the direction of the City Attorney, could not be fulfilled by staff since the information had yet to be created, and the public data information was specific to items already in existence. Mr. Miller advised that staff had provided the information that was available, but noted that the 2010 lien item budgets had not yet been created; and noted that the process normally took approximately one month to complete, specific to allocations among the City’s various programs and services. Mr. Miller advised that staff was awaiting finality from the City Council, as part of the BFO process, to complete that task, with emphasis on the program level, not detracting the focus at line item detail.
Mayor Klausing quoted from the November 23, 2009 meeting minutes the City Attorney opinion regarding and clarifying information requests based on information not already in existence; and noted that staff was not making any attempt to withhold information; and spoke in support of any City Councilmember or member of the public requesting information that was in existence. Mayor Klausing asked that Mr. Miller again review, as mentioned by Councilmember Pust, how the programs correlated to the BFO process and line items.
Mr. Miller used, as an example, the 2010 proposed training budget amount that was the same as that of 2009; and noted that the priorities for that training within departments had not yet been prioritized until staff was made aware of the City Council’s final goals and objectives, at which time Department Heads will assign priorities within that line item based on those goals and objectives. Mr. Miller advised that this was applicable to each specific department for training, supplies, and professional services budgets, at which time staff would then provide a line item budget.
Councilmember Ihlan opined that she was not asking the City Council to direct staff to create something new, alleging that there had to be line item number to support the budget expenditure summaries provided by staff. Councilmember Ihlan noted that the City Council only had one more meeting to set the 2010 budget; and opined that something was really wrong.
Councilmember Roe noted that the BFO process was a multi-step process, and that the BFO process was not followed for all non tax-supported programs, thus that information was available based on past practice and information. Councilmember Roe clarified that since the BFO process was being implemented for 2010 for tax-supported funds, many items were represented as a lump sum and were still pending (i.e., depreciation, employee health care costs), with Mr. Miller needing to have direction, based on Council priorities, to allocate that total sum into each department and each applicable fund. Councilmember Roe noted that he understood that it was an aggregate concept from 2009 to 2010, and that was sufficient for his decision-making. Councilmember Roe further noted that, other funds were less complicated (i.e., Fire Relief Fund).
Councilmember Pust, in response to Councilmember Roe’s examples, opined that there remained 11 new spending areas in the 2010 proposed budget, with the majority not requiring staff to allocate among or within departments (i.e., Hazardous and Diseased Tree Program). Councilmember Pust opined that if staff was to print out the 2009 budget and supporting documents, and changed those applicable items for 2010, including the items as amended mid-year in 2009, distributing them as requested, it wouldn’t require too much staff time.
Mr. Miller concurred that such an exercise would not be labor intensive as described; however, he noted that this had been provided in the budget matrix being used by Councilmembers and color highlighted as previously discussed. However, Mr. Miller understood Councilmember Ihlan’s request was to provide the detail behind the line items, which was not yet available for 2010.
Councilmember Pust reviewed several new line items (i.e., replacing lost State Aid; Arboretum restroom) that also didn’t require allocation among departments; and opined that more time had been spent arguing about the request than would have been required to complete the task, and providing the information being requested by Councilmember Ihlan.
Councilmember Ihlan clarified that her request was to receive line item detail of those items different from those of the 2009 budget, corresponding with the budget expenditure summaries provided several weeks ago, but not reflected in total line item budgets, but proposed expenditures for 2010.
Councilmember Johnson opined that he was not in total disagreement that this information be provided to Councilmember Ihlan if the request was for something different that a complete 2010 line item budget; and sought clarification from Finance Director Miller that he could provide that information without substantial work.
Mr. Miller advised that he could “cut and paste” that information on the 2010 budget without further City Council input; but that he could not advise how departments would spend their training, supplies and professional services or how they would be prioritized for allocation. Mr. Miller further clarified that the 2010 City Manager-recommended budget was based on 2009 frozen budget levels, but did not reflect exactly where spending was allocated; suggesting that the City Council would prefer its Department Heads to assign where those specific dollars should go for training, supplies and professional services.
Further discussion included clarifying the actual request of Councilmember Ihlan’s motion; challenges remaining in providing the detail for Schedules B, C and D at this time as it had yet to be discussed at the staff level and with the City Manager following final City Council directive; provision of Budget expenditure summaries and worksheets without schedules to Councilmember Ihlan to accommodate her request.
Councilmember Johnson suggested an amendment to the motion may be prudent, to clarify that a 2010 line item budget was not being requested; however, Councilmember Ihlan opined that this would not be necessary.
Further budget discussion included clarification for Councilmember Ihlan on additional items provided in tonight’s Council agenda packet for vehicle replacement, with the list based on the City’s Capital Investment Program (CIP), and those 2010 expenditures and included in the 2010 Budget.
Finance Director Miller advised that those listed were incorporated into the 10 year CIP, but staff had yet to prioritize which items would be purchased in 2010, which would depend on the level of funding provided by the City Council, with spending adjusted accordingly.
Councilmember Ihlan opined that the City Council was being asked to set a proposal without defining what to replace, and suggested that the City Council would want to look at that and determine what should be replaced, noting that there was $1 million in vehicle replacement for 2010.
Finance Director Miller clarified that the City Council was not being asked to approve the actual expenditure at this time, but that each purchase would come back before the City Council for approval.
Councilmember Ihlan requested clarification on the number of Police squads and unmarked vehicles scheduled for replacement annually (six marked squads and two unmarked vehicles), and sought information on the actual number of each in the Police Department fleet.
Acting Police Chief, Captain Rick Mathwig, advised that the current fleet included 17 marked vehicles and 7 unmarked; with the narcotics vehicle not included, as it was supplied by Ramsey County.
Discussion included the minimum cars patrolling depending on shift schedules; replacement rationale based on 10 years of research and industry standards for law enforcement fleets on their resale value, maintenance needs after 75,000 miles; and their replacement or use as reserve units or training based on their maintenance history.
Councilmember Roe noted on the 2010 CIP, it appeared that a new squad car was being added to the fleet.
Acting Chief Mathwig advised that this was based on a cursory discussion at the Department Head level; but that subsequently the seventh squad would not be coming into position as an officer position would not be replaced with a traffic officer, negating the need for an additional squad. Chief Mathwig advised that this change was subsequent to the City Manager-recommended budget.
Councilmember Pust noted that, following the BFO process, the City needed to review its CIP and prioritize it as well, similar to the ranking used for the 160 programs and services as identified; and including a discussion on best practices for consistently replacing Fire and Police Department commuting versus response vehicles.
Councilmember Ihlan requested further discussion on overtime expenditures, noting that much of that overtime was for staff training; expressing concern about the amount spent for travel expenses (i.e., lodging, meals) and opined that she hoped that could be frozen in 2010, similar to reductions in private industry during this economic time.
Discussion included optional training versus mandatory training for licensing purposes; availability of training in state or online; and ensuring training availability during regular hours where possible.
Councilmember Ihlan noted that previous discussions on eliminating outdoor skating rinks included not just utility costs and flooding the rinks, but also a portion of employee time. Councilmember Ihlan referenced a recent article in the Star Tribune, discussing other communities experiencing similar rink issues; and suggested that the information provided in the matrix was not transparent to indicate this and other areas where positions were proposed for elimination; and suggested more city-wide discussion was needed before such action was taken. Councilmember Ihlan questioned how much money would actually be realized and other areas where cost savings could be found to avoid eliminating positions.
Councilmember Johnson thanked Councilmember Ihlan for addressing this issue of reduced staffing.
Councilmember Johnson requested additional information from Acting Chief Mathwig and his staff, related to the new records management system being brought into service, on whether the administrative charges were remaining the same or increasing.
Councilmember Johnson addressed Finance Director Miller on anticipated surplus revenue projections from the License Center; with Mr. Miller anticipating a small surplus, but not comparable to other years based on lower car sales volumes and vacant positions at the Center not being filled based on that lower volume.
Councilmember Pust questioned how the reductions implemented mid-year in the 2009 budget were reflected in the Springsted report and development of the 161 line items following the 2009 budget adoption; with some correlation in those items highlighted on the matrix in orange, but not all inclusive.
Finance Director Miller advised that it was the understanding that, while staff had been tasked with making those reductions of approximately $300,000 to the 2009 adopted budget, it was with the recognition that they were not sustainable or desirable, and that programs and services would be prioritized for 2010. Mr. Miller opined that it was conceivable that some reductions would be reinstated, several of which were positions in the Fire and Parks & Recreation Department that had not been filled.
City Manager Malinen referenced the matrix, and the intent to use the higher to lower ranking programs to reflect recent Market Value Homestead Credit (MVHC) reductions from the State of MN.
Councilmember Pust noted that her next exercise in the process would be to determine what was added back in and not cut, with that difference representing approximately $100 - 150,000.
Councilmember Roe, referencing the outdoor rink item, noted $43,000 in the matrix from 2009 budget worksheets, noting a difference between the 2009 detail and matrix, and questioned where that discrepancy was indicated.
Parks and Recreation Director Lonnie Brokke advised that this represented a full-time staff position in Park Maintenance, which would represent a reduction in personnel if that item was eliminated.
11. Public Hearings
a. Public Hearing for 2010 Liquor License Renewals
Mayor Klausing opened the Public Hearing at 8:12 p.m. to receive public comment on 2010 Liquor License renewals.
Finance Director Chris Miller provided a brief summary of the renewals, noting that Acting Chief Mathwig reported that all licensees had been found in compliance during the 2009 license checks, with only one exception as previously handled in 2008; with the list of license holders detailed in the Request for Council Action dated December 7, 2009; with staff recommending approval.
Mr. Kysylyczyn asked why the City Council had not taken further action to determine an alternative to revocation of licenses for those establishments not in compliance by selling to underage children, not following police orders to not sell alcohol following license revocation.
Mayor Klausing closed the Public Hearing at 8:16 p.m.
12. Business Items (Action Items)
a. Approve 2010 Liquor License Renewals
Councilmember Johnson asked Councilmembers Roe and Pust, serving on a subcommittee to review alternative penalties, for an update on their work on this issue.
Councilmember Roe advised that he and Councilmember Pust anticipated February or March of 2010 for a review of current ordinance related to presumed penalties, application of penalty tiers, and the need for alternatives between the lower and higher periods of suspension for certain violations.
Councilmember Roe thanked staff for providing a history on past violations and frequencies; and expressed appreciation that so far in 2009, there had not been any reports of non compliance; providing him more interest in approving their renewals.
Klausing moved, Johnson seconded, approval of the renewal of liquor licenses for the 2010 calendar year, as detailed in the Request for Council Action dated December 7, 2009.
b. Extend Memorandum of Understanding for LCDA and TBRA Grants and Approve Mortgage and Subordination and Disbursement Agreements for Sienna Green Phase I LCDA/TBRA Loan
Economic Development Associate Jamie Radel briefly reviewed those requests detailed in the Request for Council Action dated December 7, 2009, and based on keeping the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in compliance with the extensions received by AEON (Sienna Green Phase I) on their LCDA and TBRA Grants. Ms. Radel noted that Mr. John Rocker, representing Sienna Green was present to respond to questions of the City Council.
Mayor Klausing questioned the Mortgage, Subordination and Disbursement Agreements; with Mr. Rocker providing an overview of the financial package and quasi-loan to facilitate maximizing the tax credits available to the project through the various funding sources. Mr. Rocker advised that, if grant dollars were received, the IRS would lower the amount of tax credits received, creating a new financial gap, and would be vied as income for the developer’s tax-credit investor. Mr. Rocker noted that this was fairly standard procedure, and thanked the City for their patience in getting the first phase under construction. Mr. Rocker further noted that, based on recent legislation about reductions in the basis for tax credits, the Metropolitan Council was looking into how such financial packages could be better structured.
Discussion included the City’s subordinate position on the loan documents in terms of the City’s financial position to the loan with the documents structured to avoid any risk to the City of Roseville; the City serving as a conduit between the Metropolitan Council and AEON; and application of the deferred interest rate to establish the loan documents for the draw process, with payout after 30 years.
Community Development Director Patrick Trudgeon summarized the request as taking grant funds and converting them to a loan to assist the project, with the City paid back the grant funds in 30 years to reinvest in another program or at their discretion; with this conversion a way to assist the project to move forward, as a pass through, to facilitate affordable housing.
Councilmember Ihlan clarified that this mortgage did not apply to the HRA loan.
Ms. Radel advised that the applicant is working with staff at the HRA level, as well as with Ramsey County, to provide similar packages.
Mr. Trudgeon clarified that there was no risk to the City, as clearly defined in the MOU.
Klausing moved, Pust seconded, approval of extending the Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Roseville and AEON for the LCDA and TBRA grants until December 31, 2010.
Klausing moved, Roe seconded, approval of the Mortgage, the Master Subordination Agreement, and the Master Disbursement Agreement in substantially the form on file, subject to modification approved by the City Manager and the City’s legal counsel.
Mayor Klausing recessed the meeting at approximately 8:37 p.m. and reconvened at approximately 8:44 p.m.
c. Declare 2750 Snelling Avenue N (Stuart Anderson’s) a Hazardous Building
Permit Coordinator Don Munson reviewed the history of this building, its current ownership by an individual located in Dallas, TX; and reviewed the history of complaints as detailed in the Request for Council Action dated December 7, 2009; and the voluntary and/or court process and basis under State Statutes of the requested action.
Mr. Munson provided updated photos of the interior and exterior of the building, and noted that the owner had been noticed and was aware of tonight’s meeting, but was unable to attend. Mr. Munson clarified that, until notice was given, the owner had made no corrective actions to-date; but had been cooperative in the past, and had initiated seeking bids for demolition only after receiving notice of this proposed action. Mr. Munson advised that the owner had advised that he was not interested in putting any more money into the building, and would prefer to demolish the building himself to keep the costs down. However, Mr. Munson noted that it was the owner’s intent to only demolish the building to ground level, and not razing the foundation and parking lot as well, based on costs. Mr. Munson advised that the resolution for action being recommended by staff was inclusive of the foundation and parking lot as well to provide for an empty grass lot.
Discussion included the hazardous condition of the building’s interior and exterior; continued vandalism; a synopsis of the history with this property owner and the building’s demise; timing for moving the process forward through the court system (anticipated at 3-4 months minimum); various levels of the interior slab; and allowance for recovery of legal fees.
Councilmember Ihlan suggested that the City Attorney contract, as an item on tonight’s agenda, be negotiated to include this case and other similar enforcement actions in their retainer rather than as billable hours.
Roe moved, Johnson seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 10768 entitled, “Resolution Ordering the Razing of a Hazardous Building located at 2750 Snelling Avenue;” declaring the Stuart Anderson Restaurant building a hazardous building under Minnesota’s Hazardous Building Law and requiring the property owner to repair/remove the hazardous conditions or raze the building, or the City will motion for a summary enforcement of the order in Ramsey County District Court.
Mayor Klausing thanked Mr. Munson and the City’s Police Department for their ongoing work on this property; and Councilmember Roe thanked the neighbors for bringing it to staff’s attention for subsequent action.
d. Approve 2010 City Council Meeting Schedule
Klausing moved, Johnson seconded, approval of the 2010 City Council meeting dates as presented in the Request for Council Action dated December 7, 2009.
e. Approve City Manager’s Appointments and Authorize City Manager to enter into Contracts with Firms to provide Civil and Prosecuting Legal Services
City Manager Bill Malinen provided a summary of the Request for Council Action dated December 7, 2009 as detailed.
Mr. Malinen reviewed the adoption by the City Council of the Professional Services Policy to ensure consistency; and the initiation of the Best Overall Value Process for this selection process through development of an RFQ and RFP to those interested firms, utilizing staff having previously trained in that process. Mr. Malinen advised that it had been an intensive process, with interest received and mandatory attendance at an informational meeting of ten firms for Civil and six firms for Prosecution services, with subsequent proposals received from five firms for Civil and two for Prosecution. Mr. Malinen reviewed the interview process and subsequent staff recommendations based on this rating done by code and remaining anonymous.
Mr. Malinen recommended the appointment of the firm of Jensen, Bell, Converse & Erickson, P. A. for both City Attorney services and City Prosecution services.
Councilmember Ihlan, related to process, requested that the City Council be provided access to the proposals to determine the competition and scoring comparisons to allow her to get a sense of the qualifications of the proposing firms and how the process proceeded, in addition to making them public to allow public comment before the City Council took their vote on appointment. Councilmember Ihlan asked if there had been any potential conflicts of interest with one firm providing both services, specifically in working with the City’s Code of Ethics should any complaints arise related to their Attorney services.
Caroline Bell-Beckman, representing Jensen, Bell, Converse & Erickson, P.A.
Mr. Beckman thanked the City for the opportunity to work with them.
Ms. Beckman advised that, in the past, their firm had handled both civil and criminal work; and that there was no legal conflict. Ms. Beckman further advised that, in the event of possible Ethics complaints against City officials, their office would have a conflict, as would any firm, since it represented the City; and that agreements were in place with other suburban prosecutors to facilitate those situations and provide representation, which was done on a regular basis.
Ms. Beckman advised the City Council that their firm was in the process of moving from downtown St. Paul to Roseville Towers, even though a negotiated lease was pending, and that this was due to the economics affecting legal firms. Ms. Beckman further noted that the firm may be changing its name, but the personnel would remain the same. Ms. Beckman noted that both of these changes should be completed by February 1, 2010.
Further discussion included the personnel representing the firm at City Council meetings, with Charles Bartholdi serving at most meetings, but with all principals participating to familiarize the City with their firm.
Pust moved, Johnson seconded, authorizing the City Manager to initiate negotiations with the law firm of Jensen, Bell, Converse & Erickson, P. A. as City Attorney for Civil Legal Services; for City Attorney services and for City Prosecutor for Prosecution Services; returning with those negotiated contracts for consideration of approval of their appointment and acceptance of the negotiated contract(s) at the December 21, 2009 meeting.
Councilmember Roe thanked staff for following through on the Best Value method based on the Professional Services policy; and sought staff’s perspective at the December 21, 2009 meeting, in addition to Mayor Klausing and his involvement, of the process and any revisions needed in the policy.
City Manager Malinen thanked the City Council for their support; and personally recognized Administrative Assistant Margaret Driscoll, for her thorough and detailed management of the process, allowing for objectivity of those involved, and allowing for confidential scoring and assessing throughout the process. Mr. Malinen advised that this had served as a learning process for all parties in understanding the process, and developing knowledge of that process.
Mayor Klausing concurred, noting the confidentiality maintained in the scoring process.
City Manager Malinen advised that the process allowed for no sharing with others on the interview panel, allowing them to focus on the interview questions and responses of the respondents; and advised that staff would provide more detail of the process if they so desired.
Councilmember Ihlan advised that she would like a summary of the “big picture,” how scoring was done, and what parts remained blind and confidential, and how it came together for a final recommendation.
Councilmembers recognized the work of the City’s Administrative Assistant Margaret Driscoll, in attendance at tonight’s meeting.
13. Business Items – Presentations/Discussions
14. City Manager Future Agenda Review
City Manager Malinen reviewed upcoming agenda items.
15. Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings
Mayor Klausing requested a follow-up on the Advisory Commission appointment process at the January 11, 2010 agenda; advising that he would prepare a brief memorandum for Council consideration for the next packet, and related to inconsistencies in the process and the policy, but speaking in support of the current practice.
Mayor Klausing advised that the City Council would be recessing the regular meeting to go into Closed Executive Session.
City Attorney Scott Anderson reviewed the purpose of the Closed Executive Session related to a discussion of acquisition of temporary construction easements at 2814 Cleveland Avenue, under attorney/client privilege for pending litigation, and for consideration and discussion of confidential purchase offers and appraisal information in accordance with Minnesota Statute, Section 13D.01; and Minnesota Statute 13D.05, subd. 3.c respectively. City Attorney Anderson noted that the meeting would be tape recorded with the tape held by the City Attorney until deemed appropriate, if applicable, for public dissemination.
Klausing moved, Johnson seconded, recessing the meeting into Closed Executive Session, at 9:25 pm., in accordance with Minnesota Statute, Section 13D.01, for the City Council, staff, and legal counsel to discuss attorney/client privileged information and confidential appraisal information related to a discussion regarding acquisition of temporary construction easements at 2814 Cleveland Avenue; and to include Minnesota Statute, Section 13D.05, subd. 3.c for closure to discuss real property that may be subject to an offer or counter-offer to purchase.
The regular business meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:25 pm.
Closed Executive Session
Please see minutes of the December 7, 2009 Executive Session.