CITY COUNCIL MEETING
MONDAY, JUNE 12, 2000
Mayor Dan Bishop called the Regular June 12, 2000 City Council Meeting to order in the City Council Chambers at 7:30 p.m.
City Manager Kirk Davis
Item 3. on the Agenda. Pledge of Allegiance.
Mayor Dan Bishop led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag in which all joined.
Item 4. on the Agenda. Approval of Minutes.
Councilman Newsom moved to approve the regular Monday, May 22, 2000 City Council Meeting Minutes as submitted. Councilman Nodler seconded. The vote: All "Aye" - Smith, Nodler, Newsom, Cross, Bishop. (5-0)
Item 4a. on the Agenda. Mayor Dan Bishop read a PROCLAMATION designating June 14, 2000 as "NATIONAL FLAG DAY" in Gladstone. Missouri.
Item 5. on the Agenda. CONSENT AGENDA
Following the Clerk's reading, Councilman George Nodler moved to approve the Consent Agenda as listed. Councilman Anita Newsom seconded. The vote: All "aye" - Smith, Nodler, Newsom, Cross, Bishop. (5-0)
Councilman George Nodler moved to adopt RESOLUTION NO. R-00-47, authorizing execution of a contract with Musselman and Hall Contractors, L.L.C. for the City Parking Lot Seal Coat Program for a total amount not to exceed $13,453.29 from the Capital Improvements Sales Tax Fund. (Project 0023). Councilman Anita Newsom seconded. The vote: All "aye" - Smith, Nodler, Newsom, Cross, Bishop. (5-0)
Councilman George Nodler moved to adopt RESOLUTION NO. R-00-48, authorizing execution of a contract with Capital Electric for the Central Park Ballfield Lighting for a total amount not to exceed $49,974. from the Capital Improvement Sales Tax Fund. (Project 0036). Councilman Anita Newsom seconded. The vote: All "aye" - Smith, Nodler, Newsom, Cross, Bishop. (5-0)
Councilman George Nodler moved to adopt RESOLUTION NO. R-00-49, authorizing execution of a contract with Fleshman Excavating for the Old Pike Road Street Reconstruction for a total amount not to exceed $319,791.31 from the Capital Improvement Sales Tax Fund. (Project 9719). Councilman Anita Newsom seconded. The vote: All "aye" - Smith, Nodler, Newsom, Cross, Bishop. (5-0)
Councilman George Nodler moved to approve ANNUAL LIQUOR LICENSE RENEWALS: for Bubbles Wines and Spirits, 7407 N. Oak; Hen House, 6475 N. Prospect; Conoco, 5810 N. Antioch Road; Margarita's North, Inc. 7013 N. Oak; Quik Trip #181, 2590 NE 72nd Street; Quik Trip #237, 6309 N. Antioch Road; Godfather's Pizza, 328 NE 72nd Street; King Super Store, 7020 N. Oak; Smokehouse BBQ, 6304 N. Oak; KC Northland Elks #2377, 7010 N Cherry. Councilman Anita Newsom seconded. The vote: All "aye" - Smith, Nodler, Newsom, Cross, Bishop. (5-0)
Item 6. on the Agenda. Communications from the Audience.
Paula Coleman, 11 NW 61st Terrace, expressed her concern regarding the rezoning of the property located north of Englewood Road, between Broadway and Main. She stated that she did attend a recent meeting for the public with the developer of the property. Although she had to leave by 8:30 pm, she felt that her concerns were not going to be addressed there because of problems voiced about the drainage situation, which is apparently an ongoing situation. It does not personally affect her, but her concern is that the rezoning of this property to commercial for a portion of that area, would further encroach into the residential neighborhood, greatly reducing the buffer between the commercial and residential areas. There would be dangerous access and egress with the proposal due to the steep slope of Broadway and the very short visibility for oncoming traffic. It would also add to the existing water run-off on Broadway, between the pond on the south and 59th Terrace on the north.
She stated that it was hard for her to imagine that the proposal for a further commercial development on Broadway was proposed by someone who lives and drives along Broadway daily or walks along that street frequently. She drives along Broadway every day and witnesses people tuning out onto Broadway and nearly hitting oncoming traffic. As a pedestrian, it is difficult for her to walk along either side of Broadway without feeling like she is in danger.
She understands the concern about adding revenue and that commercial property would do that for the City of Gladstone. But she wants to present a challenge. She is new at this and has only been a homeowner for a year and a half, and has never owned a home before. She asks Council to park at the state building on Englewood and Broadway and walk down the slope going north on Broadway to observe the blind turn that would result from the commercial property being developed there and to observe the existing drainage ditch along Broadway to 59th Terrace and look at its current level of maintenance and the debris that has accumulated in the drainage pipe and is not being maintained. The likely places where water will puddle and flood into the streets and yards would be even more than it is currently.
Ms. Coleman asks if Council will consider whether the revenue from a small strip mall is worth the hazards that she observes as a pedestrian that walks past there. She thanked the Council, gave copies of her remarks to the City Clerk who distributed them to the City Manager and Council members.
Mayor Dan Bishop stated that Council has heard her concerns which have also been raised in the public hearing and since that time concerning the traffic and water run-off. Part of what is happening is that there is a traffic study required as part of the rezoning and staff is waiting to see what recommendations might be made.
Don McLaughlin, 6313 N. Bales, stated that he was privileged to sit in on the Study Session on televising Council meetings and mentioned that his own wife is physically unable to come to Council meetings without a great deal of assistance. He thinks everyone should remember the handicapped and the aged who don't make it to Gladfest to tell us they are not interested in cable TV. There were some 45-50 people as he recalls, who either called in or wrote to City Hall asking to televise meetings. Also remember, the cost, even if we went commercial, would be the same or a little less than we pay for mortgage payments on the interest and taxes on GEBC's vacant lot on 72nd Street under their so-called economic development contract. If we can do that for the Chamber and GEBC, he thinks we can take care of the aged and disabled who would like to see these Council meetings.
Mr. McLaughlin continued, stating that he was privileged to attend the economic development meeting last Thursday evening. Having talked to others who were captioned on name tags as community leaders, he feels they are really concerned citizens. They would like to tell the Council that they really should give earnest consideration to bringing the economic development program back into City Hall. He was amazed to see the 1993 plan for economic development included in the handout. There are almost verbatim portions of the GEBC contract that would implement a great deal of that plan which never happened. A great deal of that contract they have failed to perform. He asks Council, and feels the community people will trust more in this City Council and back economic development and efforts, if you will bring it in-house where they think it belongs.
Item 7. on the Agenda. Communications from the City Council.
Councilman Shirley Smith, stated that she was privileged to attend a D.A.R.E. graduation program at Oakwood Manor Elementary. It was a great deal of fun and very informative. She asks the City Manager or someone on staff to pass along to the Public Safety Department what a great program it is and how well it was conducted. Officer Becky Davis is devoted to that program and makes it run smoothly. The children are learning so much more than simply how to say no to drugs. The D.A.R.E. program also teaches children not to be afraid of uniformed officers and has taught them to interact so well. Parents were there and some grandparents, it was a great activity and she personally appreciates their efforts.
Councilman Nodler had no comments at this time.
Councilman Newsom reminded everyone that children are out of school and doing the things kids do in the summer, running across streets and in between cars, dodging traffic outside City Hall.
Ms. Newsom mentioned that she received the Chamber Newsletter and is looking forward to the Blues Fest this coming weekend. She is disappointed that the City is not listed as a sponsor for the Blues Fest, nor is it mentioned at all in the newsletter. She asks if we are not participating at all as a City to support this event in our parks.
City Manager Davis stated that yes, obviously we are participating and actively involved in this event and the fact we weren't mentioned must be an oversight.
Ms. Newsom stated that generally we are hand-in-hand in support of all these events with the Chamber.
Mayor Pro Tem Cross had no comments at this time.
Mayor Dan Bishop agreed with Councilman Smith about the value of the D.A.R.E. program. He attended his second D.A.R.E. graduation at Linden West Elementary about a year ago. They are enjoyable, and it is great to see the young people who have taken part in this program. They seem to enjoy it and it does a lot of good.
The Mayor commented about how fortunate we were as a community to have Brooks Robinson here in Gladstone last Saturday. To have someone of this caliber, a baseball Hall of Famer was a real honor. There were about 350 people who participated in the early afternoon autograph session and the evening banquet at Old Pike Country Club was thoroughly enjoyable and said he enjoyed meeting Mr. Robinson. Additionally, we fulfilled the purpose of the event by raising a significant amount of money for the Parks & Recreation Scholarship Fund which will be great when young people can participate in activities they could not otherwise afford.
Board of Zoning Adjustment Appointments.
Mayor Bishop said that the Council appoints members of our City to various Boards and Commissions. Most terms for members expires the end of December except for the Board of Zoning Adjustment of whose terms expire in June. We have two members whose terms expire on June 30, 2000. Mr. Leroy Gunselman and First Alternate Ron Pashen have both expressed a desire to be reappointed to their positions for an additional term.
The Mayor asked for a motion. Councilman Newsom moved to reappoint Leroy Gunselman and Ron Pashen for terms expiring June, 2005. Councilman Nodler seconded.
Councilman Newsom stated that Mr. Gunselman and Mr. Pashen have done a fine job and need to continue with their services.
The vote: All "aye" - Smith, Nodler, Newsom, Cross, Bishop. (5-0)
Mayor Bishop stated that the Council certainly appreciates their dedicated good service on the Commission.
Item 8. on the Agenda. Communications from the City Manager.
City Manager Kirk Davis invited everyone to attend the Blues Fest this coming weekend at Oak Grove Park, Friday and Saturday night. Hopefully, the weather will be cooperate and will have great crowds out there.
Mr. Davis wished to send condolences to Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes in the passing of her husband, Frank Barnes.
The City Manager wished to send a farewell salute to Mike Rice, reporter for The Kansas City Star who will be moving on to another beat. He appreciates Mike's coverage and his professionalism as he has worked with the City of Gladstone. He welcomes Ms. Jerry Berrios who will be covering Gladstone for the Star.
Item 9. on the Agenda. PUBLIC HEARING: on a request for rezoning of property at 6334 NE Antioch Road (Commerce Bank) from C-1 to CP-1. Applicant: Gould Evans Goodman Associates. Owner: Eldon Marcus King Revocable Trust and Commerce Bank. (File #1127).
Mayor Bishop opened the public hearing and explained the hearing process that the applicant and persons in favor of the application are invited to speak, followed by those in opposition and finally, the City Staff presentation.
Mark Brown, with Gould Evans Goodman Associates, is representing Commerce Bank. As stated on the agenda the desire is to rezone facilities at 6334 NE Antioch Road from C-1 to CP-1. The rezoning would better utilize the facility through more favorable setbacks achieved through the rezoning. The primary goal of the bank is to better serve their existing customers.
The existing facility was built in the 70's, is approximately 2,600 square feet and has a small lobby area to serve customers. The drive-thru is limited to three lanes and an ATM. At peak usage there is quite a bit of stacking and circulation on the site. In the new addition of approximately 1,600 square feet which the majority of the space is to create a new teller line and walk-in space for customers. In addition, the drive thru lanes which would be new, would contain six drive up lanes and a separate ATM canopy on the parcel of the corner of Antioch and 64th Street which should drastically improve the stacking by having a longer area for cars to stack and additional lanes to alleviate the stacking backup in the lanes themselves. This should take off some of the impact from the parking lot since more people will be able to use the drive-up portion of the facility.
The existing part of the facility will be remodeled, the teller lines will be removed and the area currently used for tellers will be used for customer service. The existing drive-thru canopy will be removed.
Mr. Brown stated that no existing changes are proposed to the street access. All work will be done on site. Improvements beyond what he has discussed will include a new trash enclosure to replace the one serving the facility as well as additional landscaping.
Mayor Bishop asked where the trash enclosure is located on the plan. Mr. Brown indicated it is not on the plan but is located in one of the parking stalls on the east side where the current trash unit is located. The current trash structure is a picket fence and will be replaced with materials more consistent with the building materials.
Mayor Pro Tem Cross confirmed that there would be six lanes instead of the three currently in place. Mr. Brown stated yes, the drive-thru lanes will be relocated with a longer drive around on the west with a larger volume of stacking with the new configuration.
Councilman Cross asked about the impact on stacking and access to the ATM lane. Mr. Brown stated, yes, it could be possible during peak times. There is a lane for ATM independent of the drive-thru lanes that would have a certain level of access even with peak times in the drive-thru lanes.
Councilman Smith asked about the traffic signs for left or right turn only and if it will it be incorporated into the plan to make it flow better. Mr. Brown stated that it was discussed and would be discussed with the planning department. The question is where would the signs go without being a hindrance to the traffic leaving the drive-thru. Perhaps directional signage on the pavement would be the best option if planning deems it to be the best response.
Mayor Bishop asked about additional landscaping to buffer the site or to improve the surrounding setbacks. Mr. Brown stated that the majority of the landscaping is on the parcel that Commerce has purchased. The majority is at the intersection of 64th Street and Antioch Road. There will be landscaping beds, with lower types of plantings.
Councilman Nodler mentioned that at the Planning Commission meeting with Gould and Associates there were concerns about the constriction of the lanes and existing signs as being one of the potential problems.
Mr. Brown stated that it was brought up at the Planning Commission meeting last week. There was talk about realigning some of the curbs along the north, but there is an agreement with the Trust that owns the property to only allow the level of changes that they are making.
Councilman Nodler asked if the sign could be moved. Mr. Brown stated that had not been discussed.
Councilman Newsom asked if the sign could be put closer to the street or is it maxed out. Assistant City Manager for Development Scott Wingerson stated yes, it was maxed out.
Mr. Brown responded that with the additional lanes, under normal usage, there would not be any congestion along the north property line.
Ms. Newsom asked Mr. Brown if in his past experience with new facilities and possible traffic glitches, don't sometimes after people get used to a new business and the layout, they find ways to avoid those. Mr. Brown responded yes, that is generally true, and in this instance, once people know the traffic flow, they will not go through the drive-thru lanes to get to the ATM machine. They will stay within the horseshoe to access the ATM.
No one spoke in favor or opposition of the application.
Mayor Bishop then asked for staff comments.
Assistant City Manager for Development Scott Wingerson wanted to draw Council's attention to two of the eleven proposed conditions in the draft ordinance.
The first is Condition #4 mentioned by Mayor Bishop which includes the landscaping element which is a requirement of this particular plan. The minimum sizes are listed after the first sentence.
The second Condition #10 mentioned by Councilman Smith which mentions pavement markings and signage raised by the Planning Commission. The condition reads: "Pavement markings and/or signage shall be utilized to facilitate efficient internal traffic flow to and from drive-thru lanes. A striping and signage plan shall be submitted to and approved by staff prior to issuance of a building permit."
The Planning recommends unanimous approval to the City Council, staff concurs and he is available to answer any questions Council may have.
Councilman Newsom asked if the bill as it is written eliminates the part of the parcel that we do not need to be rezoning. Mr. Wingerson replied, yes, that the original published legal notice included three parcels, one called the old Gene's Party Shop parcel, on the corner of 64th and Prospect, and the other called the primary Bank parcel where Commerce Bank sits. There is a third parcel to the south of both of those parcels which is ingress/egress easement parcel, owned by one of the owners of the property, a trust. The trust as well as Commerce Bank have requested that it not be considered as part of the zoning change and is not reflected as a legal description of the ordinances.
City Counselor Nancy Thompson clarified that the applicant had stated during their presentation that the trust did not give authorization to moving any of the curb lines and the City does have an owner's authorization which would allow changes or amendments to the site plan by the City Council as it goes through this process. As Councilman Smith questioned, there are opportunities to make changes as Council desires.
There were no further comments and the Mayor closed the Public Hearing.
Item 9a. on the Agenda. FIRST READING BILL 00-26, rezoning property located at 6334 NE Antioch Road (Commerce Bank) from C-1 to CP-1. Applicant: Gould Evans Goodman Associates. Owner: Eldon Marcus King Revocable Trust and Commerce Bank. (File #1127).
Councilman Newsom moved to place Bill 00-26 on First Reading; Councilman Nodler seconded.
Councilman Newsom stated that she knew there was concern about the narrowing of passage of the drive-thru lanes. In her experience with the public and people driving through, after once or twice, they will find a safer route. The real concern is moving the tall sign closer to the road passage. She is in favor of the way it is currently designed.
The vote: All "aye" - Smith, Nodler, Newsom, Cross, Bishop. (5-0) The Clerk read the Bill.
Councilman Newsom moved to accept the First Reading of Bill 00-26, Waive the Rule, and place the Bill on Second and Final Reading; Councilman Nodler seconded. The vote: All "aye" - Smith, Nodler, Newsom, Cross, Bishop. (5-0) The Clerk read the Bill.
Councilman Newsom moved to accept the Second and Final reading of Bill 00-26, and enact the Bill as Ordinance No. 3.760. Councilman Nodler seconded. The vote: All "aye" - Smith, Nodler, Newsom, Cross, Bishop. (5-0)
Item 9b. on the Agenda. FIRST READING BILL 00-27, approving a Site Plan in conjunction with a rezoning at 6334 NE Antioch Road (Commerce Bank). Applicant: Gould Evans Goodman Associates. Owner: Eldon Marcus King Revocable Trust and Commerce Bank. (File #1127).
Councilman Nodler moved to place Bill 00-27 on First Reading; Councilman Newsom seconded.
Councilman Newsom stated that she wanted her comments made during the rezoning discussion (Item 9a.) to be included in this site plan approval. She had stated that she knew there was concern about the narrowing of passage of the drive-thru lanes. In her experience with the public and people driving through, after once or twice, they will find a safer route. The real concern is moving the tall sign closer to the road passage. She is in favor of the way it is currently designed.
The vote: All "aye" - Smith, Nodler, Newsom, Cross, Bishop. (5-0) The Clerk read the Bill.
Councilman Nodler moved to accept the First Reading of Bill 00-27, Waive the Rule, and place the Bill on Second and Final Reading; Councilman Newsom seconded. The vote: All "aye" - Smith, Nodler, Newsom, Cross, Bishop. (5-0) The Clerk read the Bill.
Councilman Nodler moved to accept the Second and Final reading of Bill 00-27, and enact the Bill as Ordinance No. 3.761. Councilman Newsom seconded. The vote: All "aye" - Smith, Nodler, Newsom, Cross, Bishop. (5-0)
Item 10. on the Agenda. PUBLIC HEARING: on a request for a Site Plan Revision in a CP-1 zone for Hy-Vee, Inc., 7117 N. Prospect. Applicant: Boice-Raidl-Rhea Architects, Inc. Owner: Hy-Vee, Inc. (File #1123).
Mayor Bishop opened the public hearing and explained the hearing process that the applicant and persons in favor of the application are invited to speak, followed by those in opposition and finally, the City Staff presentation.
John Schweiger, Boice-Raidl-Rhea Architects is representing Hy-Vee for an addition to the property to further enhance services for their clientele. This addition is a pharmacy pick-up window, along with a drive-thru lane and canopy covering for protection from the elements. The current hours of operation are from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm and would remain the same for the drive-thru. The added canopy is planned to blend in with the existing architecture with the same color, materials, and brick.
In the Planning Commission meeting, there was discussion over the drive entrance. The current plan showing the entrance has been revised and shows an additional drive lane off to the side so that if there were any stacking, Hy-Vee could accommodate it. The exit drive points to the right, so drivers know they have to exit to the right.
The landscaping plan has also been revised. There will be additional trees and shrubs as the Planning Commission has asked.
Comments in favor of the application.
Ann Alexander, 6767 N. Askew Circle stated that this is the first she has heard about it and is the pharmacy she has used. Provided it is done attractively, she is all for it.
No one spoke in opposition of the application.
Assistant City Manager Scott Wingerson stated that at the Planning Commission meeting there was discussion regarding the exterior lighting and fencing on the south property line. Bill 00-28, Condition #1 states that "exterior lighting shall be designed, installed and maintained to reduce any adverse impact on the surrounding neighbors" which means lighting shields. Condition #4 requires "the privacy fence along the south property line shall be repaired where necessary and shall be continuous, and shall be maintained in perpetuity by the property owner. Finally, the hours of operation as mentioned are from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
The Planning Commission recommends unanimous approval and he will be happy to answer any questions.
Councilman Newsom asked what the definition of the fence being "maintained" means in Condition #4. What is that in City standards.
Mr. Wingerson stated "maintained" means it is in good, solid repair, no missing slats, or deteriorating columns.
Ms. Newsom then mentioned the trash that blows on and through there on a regular, daily basis.
Mr. Wingerson said that prior to the Planning Commission meeting, staff wrote a letter to the applicant about that very issue. The applicant responded that operations had been advised of that and would police it on a regular basis.
Councilman Cross asked if there was any recourse if Hy-Vee does not keep the store picked up. Mr. Wingerson stated that Codes Enforcement has been watching the store closely.
Item 10a. on the Agenda. FIRST READING BILL 00-28, approving a Site Plan Revision for Hy-Vee, Inc., 7117 N. Prospect. Applicant: Boice-Raidl-Rhea Architects, Inc. Owner: Hy-Vee, Inc. (File #1123).
Councilman Anita Newsom moved to place Bill 00-28 on First Reading; Councilman Nodler seconded. The vote: All "aye" - Smith, Nodler, Newsom, Cross, Bishop. (5 -0) The Clerk read the Bill.
Councilman Newsom moved to accept the First Reading of Bill 00-28, Waive the Rule, and place the Bill on Second and Final Reading; Councilman Nodler seconded. The vote: All "aye" - Smith, Nodler, Newsom, Cross, Bishop. (5-0) The Clerk read the Bill.
Councilman Newsom moved to accept the Second and Final Reading of Bill 00-28 and enact the Bill as Ordinance 3.762; Mr. Nodler seconded. The vote: All "aye" - Smith, Nodler, Newsom, Cross, Bishop. (5-0)
Item 10b. on the Agenda. APPROVAL OF BUILDING PERMIT for the construction of a canopy addition for the pharmacy at Hy-Vee, Inc., 7117 N. Prospect. Applicant: Boice Raidhl Rhea Architects. Owner: Hy-Vee, Inc. (BP# 00-0457). Councilman Nodler moved to approve the Building Permit for 7117 N Prospect as submitted; Councilman Newsom seconded. The vote: All "aye" - Smith, Nodler, Newsom, Cross, Bishop. (5-0)
Item 11. on the Agenda. PUBLIC HEARING: on a request for rezoning from R-1 to CP-3, property located at the southeast corner of N. Oak and NE 68th Street. Applicant: Fuel Outlet #11, L.L.C. Owner: Judy Kendrick and Lorena Parr. (File #1125). Mayor Bishop referenced a memorandum from Director Scott Wingerson which indicates that at 11:00 AM this date, the applicant requested a continuance of this public hearing and related items 11a, and 11b, to the next regular meeting on June 26, 2000, to allow them to consider alternatives relative to the recent Planning Commission recommendation. The Mayor said the memo indicates that staff has no objection. Mayor Bishop opened the Public Hearing and continued the Hearing to the Monday, June 26, 2000 City Council Meeting.
Item 12. on the Agenda. FIRST READING BILL 00-31, amending Article IV, Sections 17-49 through 17-58 of the Gladstone City Code relating to licensing and regulation of pawnshops within the City of Gladstone.
Councilman George Nodler moved to place Bill 00-31 on First Reading; Councilman Anita Newsom seconded.
Councilman Newsom commented that hindsight is wonderful. Mayor Bishop noted that City Counselor Thompson gave a study session presentation at our last Council Meeting on this proposed ordinance which will update our Municipal Code and bring us into compliance with State Statutes with respect to the licensing and regulation of pawn shops.
The vote: All "aye" - Smith, Nodler, Newsom, Cross, Bishop. (5 -0) The Clerk read the Bill.
Councilman Nodler moved to accept the First Reading of Bill 00-31, Waive the Rule and place the Bill on Second and Final Reading; Councilman Newsom seconded. The vote: All "aye" - Smith, Nodler, Newsom, Cross, Bishop. (5-0) The Clerk read the Bill.
Councilman Nodler moved to accept the Second and Final Reading of Bill 00-31 and enact the Bill as Ordinance 3.763; Councilman Newsom seconded. The vote: All "aye" - Smith, Nodler, Newsom, Cross, Bishop. (5-0)
Item 13. on the Agenda. RESOLUTION NO. R-00-50, Adopting the Annual Operating Budget for the City of Gladstone, Missouri, for the Fiscal Year beginning July, 1, 2000 and ending June 30, 2001, authorizing the expenditure of funds; and amending the Position Classification and Compensation Plan.
Councilman Shirley Smith moved to adopt Resolution 00-50; Councilman Bill Cross seconded.
Councilman Anita Newsom said this is the 10th City of Gladstone annual budget that she has been a part of. She has always been very very proud and pleased at the way the entire Staff, not just Management Staff, has worked to pull together collaboratively their wants and needs to best serve our citizens; and how things have been prioritized and brought forward to the point that Council can adopt a budget and move forward to providing service for our citizens. She said a number of years ago she was asked to run for the City Council on a platform of fiscal prudency, we had a situation going on at the time in the city where there were allegations that finances weren't being handled prudently but by political agendas. She believes we have come a long, long way over the past number of years to make sure that it is truly a needs-based budget.
Councilman Newsom said as she mentioned at other Council Meetings, she is disappointed that there are issues and items in the budget this year that were not needs driven by the various departments, but are addressing personal political agendas, therefore she will not be able to vote for the budget this evening as it currently stands.
Councilman George Nodler said he concurs with Councilman Newsom's views and especially has a problem eliminating the revenue from the billboard at the water treatment plant from the budget. We will be eliminating $8,500 in revenue and we now have a memo from the holder of that sign lease offering to raise the amount to $12 ,400. At that rate probably in ten years we would lose $124,000 in revenue for our water fund, and the water users will have to make up that deficit , there is no other way. Just recently we turned down an additional signboard in Claymont in deference to the view from the residents of Claymont and Briarcliff West which could have resulted in similar revenue. So we are talking approximately $250,000 over ten years that could have been generated for the water fund without going to the residents or water users of the city. It is very difficult to come up with additional revenues that we don't have to go to Gladstone taxpayers for. Mr. Nodler said he is very disappointed that we have eliminated that revenue from the budget and that is mainly why he cannot vote in favor of the budget as proposed.
Mayor Dan Bishop said he was sad that we have heard from two Council members tonight who have indicated an unwillingness to vote for this budget. He agrees that staff works very hard on the budget and they have put together an excellent budget. Last Council Meeting during the budget public hearing as he recalls, Councilman Newsom identified three items that she objected to in this year's budget. First, was the fact that there was not an expenditure of $35,000 in this budget for a citizen based strategic plan. The Mayor said it was decided during a study session on the budget that staff has their plate full right now and that Council does also and therefore it would not be prudent to go on with the citizen-based strategic plan at this time. Therefore, at this time, we are saving the City $35,000.
Mayor Bishop said the other item Councilman Newsom expressed displeasure with was the expenditure of $11,000 for a mobile radar sign. The suggestion that the City purchase a mobile radar sign was brought forth by numerous citizens in this community. We then brought it up during the budget study session. Staff then explored that suggestion with neighboring communities who are very pleased with the results of having a radar sign and they checked with our own Public Safety Department who were enthusiastic about having a mobile radar sign. Based on that positive feedback from our own professional staff who we praise highly, that expenditure for the mobile radar sign was added into the budget. He thinks we have a terrible problem with speeders in all parts of Gladstone and if this will help to alleviate that problem with speeders in Gladstone it is money well spent.
Mayor Bishop said the third item that Councilman Newsom expressed disappointment with was the loss of revenue from the billboard which is located on the City waterworks property. As the lease currently stands that amounts to about $8,5000 in lost revenue per year. We heard last Council Meeting during the hearing on the budget that about 2-3 years ago, a telecommunication monopole was placed there on the waterworks property. That monopole generates up to $23,000 per year for the City water fund budget. $23,000 a year we are now getting that we were not getting three years ago. That $23,000 more than makes up for the money we will lose from this billboard as well as the money we would have made which the Council unanimously decided against placing there last year. Not only that, but the water fund currently operates in the black and even with the loss in the revenue from the billboard, the water fund will continue to operate in the black. Furthermore, as he already pointed out, we are saving the City $35,000 by not having the citizen base strategic plan at this time. We are talking about a budget of approximately $20 million dollars, and there is disappointment being expressed about an expenditure of $11,000 and a loss of $8,5000, which still does not amount to the $35,000 we are saving the City. The Mayor said it is sad to him that representatives of this city who were sent here to represent the citizens would vote against the budget which includes in it funds for capital expenditures, streets, sanitary sewer improvements, storm water improvements and for public safety. Because if you vote against this budget, you are not only voting against each of these three items, you are voting against everything in this budget including public safety for this city, and you are going on record as not supporting public safety, and going on record as not supporting public works, and going on record as not supporting community development, and that is sad.
Councilman Anita Newsom said her response is that she does not feel she is going on record of not supporting issues. She is going on record not supporting the setting of a precedent of fiscal imprudency. She stressed that she has not been shown data that the $11,000 speed monitor equipment does anything to increase the safety among our citizens driving through our community or protect our children out playing in their yards.
Ms. Newsom said on the elimination of the revenue from the water treatment plant, basically we have no real other revenue that supplants that, we are lucky enough to have interest revenue this year to do it. What she is in opposition to is the way this budget has come forward with some personal agenda items on it.
Councilman Shirley Smith said she has always made her own way. She has a four-star credit rating and owns her own home and everything in it and she does it on her income. Proportionately, this means that if she goes out one night a year and eats at Perkins by herself and goes to a movie, she is being fiscally imprudent. She really dislikes being personally attacked on her fiscally responsibilities and she does not appreciate a letter from Infinity Outdoor who made an inadequate presentation to this Council on the billboard sign, vague and incomplete. And now four days before we vote on the budget they come up and say "oh yeah, we are going to do all of this". To her it is like a guy who goes with a gal for five years and when she says "I don't want you any more", he says - "O.K. I'll marry you". Ms. Smith said she does not appreciate this and she is going to vote in favor of this budget presented.
Councilman George Nodler added that he is disappointed that during the budget hearing, the Mayor kind of cut off the discussion with an angry discourse similar to the one he displayed tonight. We were having a discussion, the Claymont residents had come up and given their position, and then the Mayor gave a fiery, somewhat angry speech after that and then ended the discussion and the rest of the Council had not even offered opinions. Mr. Cross and Ms. Smith had not even offered an opinion during the budget hearing, but the Mayor more or less just terminated it with his angry discourse, and he seems to have the same attitude tonight.
Mayor Bishop said the only thing he would add is that he for one, and he can only speak for himself, is not advancing any personal agenda in anything he has advocated for in this budget. His only purpose in serving on this City Council is for the betterment of this community and for the citizens who voted for him and everything that he suggested. He said he advanced suggestions that were given to him by citizens and his only agenda is to do what is in the best interests of this community.
Councilman Bill Cross acknowledged the amount of time, effort and study that has gone into this budget. We have studied it for a couple of months, have looked through it and discussed all of these matters, and because it is prepared by professionals he is willing to vote for it. He recognizes again the fact that it (billboard revenue loss) is a very small figure compared with the total budget. He is someone who believes in the beauty of the city and that is where his interest is right now over that amount of revenue that we would be losing and he feels we can make it up in many, many different ways.
The vote on adoption of Resolution R-00-50: "Aye" - Smith, Cross, Bishop. "Nay" - Newsom, Nodler. (3-2)
Item 14. on the Agenda. RESOLUTION NO. R-00-51, authorizing termination of a "Sign Location Lease" with Whiteco Outdoor Advertising assigned to Infinity Outdoor, Inc.
Councilman Smith moved to adopt Resolution R-00-51; Councilman Cross seconded.
Councilman Anita Newsom said as she had commented before, she does not like billboards, but believes that right now it is fiscally imprudent to cancel a lease such as this especially when they are offering to give the City more money to have it there. It has been there for fifteen years and it hasn't seemed to bother anybody until recently.
Councilman Nodler said he had already expressed his opinion.
There were no further comments.
The vote on adoption of Resolution R-00-51: "Aye" - Smith, Cross, Bishop. "Nay" - Nodler, Newsom. (3-2)
Item 15 on the Agenda. Other business.
Councilman Smith requested that City staff provide information and prepare an Ordinance for introduction on elimination of City Council Primary Elections in the city of Gladstone.
Mayor Bishop noted that in February he asked the City Counselor to prepare a legal opinion on what it takes to eliminate the primary election in the city of Gladstone. That memo was provided to all then current Council members, and was provided again in last week's packet. It is his understanding that it only takes an ordinance passed by the Council to eliminate the primary election. This is an issue that has come up from time to time and seems worthy of Council debate and consideration and he supports Councilman Smith's request that City Staff bring forth an ordinance for consideration at the next Council Meeting.
Councilman Newsom asked what eliminating the primary would do for our citizens.
Ms. Smith responded that it would save us some money. Ms. Newsom said then we will have Council members elected with 10%, 12% of the vote? Councilman Smith responded the percentage would depend on who goes out to vote. The primary purpose is to save money for the City and for the candidates because those who advance to the primary have to have another campaign expenditure for the general election. She admits she has not done any homework on how many candidates we have had file for the Council office for the last five years but she would venture a guess that is not really more than 6-7. If 20-25 people are filing it might get out of hand but for an election for a city of this size, she really does not think we need a primary.
Councilman Nodler noted that when he was first elected to the Council there were six people who ran for the one seat. He won the primary and had about 35% of the vote and he felt much more comfortable going forward to the general election and coming out with 62% of the vote and feeling like he was representing the citizens of Gladstone, than if he had just been declared the winner with 35% of the vote. This is just his only personal opinion.
Mayor Bishop commented that these are all valuable insights and food for debate and discussion. As this point it seems perhaps premature if we are going to have this as a an agenda item. We need to see if there is majority sentiment to bring a Bill forward on the next agenda for full discussion and debate.
Councilman Newsom asked if we were going to have study session bringing forth some facts and figures prior to putting it on the agenda. Mayor Bishop asked if there was a desire for a study session. Ms. Newsom said she thinks it would be beneficial.
Councilman Cross said he would like to see the number and cost of each election, and percent of voters. He said it was his impression that in the primary there was something like only 4% of the registered voters in Gladstone who voted which equated to approximately $10.00 per vote. A study session might be worthwhile and he would ask the Counselor to gather the information for presentation.
Mayor Bishop agreed a study session would be advisable and asked if staff needs any further direction. City Manager Davis said he does not believe so.
There were no communications from the News Media or further business to come before the June 12, 2000 Gladstone City Council Meeting, and Mayor Dan Bishop adjourned the Regular Meeting.
Marilyn F. Ahnefeld, City Clerk