CITY COUNCIL MEETING
MONDAY MAY 8, 2006
PRESENT: Mayor Bill Cross
Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith
Councilman Carol Rudi
Councilman Wayne Beer
Councilman Mark Revenaugh
City Manager Kirk Davis
City Counselor David Ramsay
City Clerk Cathy Swenson
Mayor Bill Cross opened the Regular May 8, 2006, City Council Meeting at 7:30 PM in
Item 3. on the Agenda. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE.
Mayor Bill Cross led the Pledge of Allegiance, in which all joined.
Item 4. on the Agenda. APPROVAL OF THE REGULAR APRIL 24, 2006, CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES.
Councilman Carol Rudi moved to approve the Regular April 24, 2006, City Council Meeting Minutes as presented. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded the motion.
The vote: All “aye” – Councilman Mark Revenaugh, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith and Mayor Bill Cross.
Item 4a. on the Agenda SPECIAL PRESENTATION to Kellie Houx for her commitment to the promotion of volunteerism and service to the community.
Mayor Cross read and presented a framed certificate from the Missouri Volunteer Service Commission to Kellie Houx, Editor of the Wednesday Sun, recognizing her commitment to the promotion of volunteerism and service to the community. Mayor Cross stated Ms. Houx was nominated for this award by City staff members, Sergeant Richard King, Public Information Coordinator and Melinda Mehaffy, Economic Development Administrator.
Mayor Cross stated that Ms. Houx, formerly of the Sun News, has spent many hours at Gladstone City Council meetings and events, providing news coverage of the City’s activities. Mayor Cross asked Ms. Houx if she would like to tell the audience about where she is now working.
Ms. Houx stated she has been moved to the Wednesday
Sun area, which is the south
Item 4b. on the Agenda. PROCLAMATION: designating the first week in May 2006, as YOUTH WEEK. Sponsored by the Northland Elks Lodge #2376.
Mayor Bill Cross read and presented the Proclamation to Northland Elks Lodge #2376 member Mr. Dean Gromer, and asked Mr. Gromer how many people attended the Elks’ Breakfast this past Saturday and Sunday.
Mr. Gromer thanked Mayor Cross and Council members, and stated over 1,200 people attended, with over $8,000 raised for scholarships for area youths.
Mayor Cross stated the food and company was very good both days at the breakfasts. A good time was enjoyed by all.
Item 5. on the Agenda. CONSENT AGENDA
Following the Clerk’s reading, Councilman Wayne Beer moved to accept the Consent Agenda as presented. Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilman Mark Revenaugh, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith and Mayor Bill Cross.
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to adopt RESOLUTION R-06-27, authorizing execution of a contract with Miracle Recreation Equipment Company for the total amount not to exceed $38,961.00 for the Happy Rock Park Playground Replacement; Project CP0655. Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilman Mark Revenaugh, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith and Mayor Bill Cross.
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to approve a CLASS “C & H” 7-DAY PACKAGE LICENSE, (to include the sale of distilled spirits), for Hy-Vee, Inc., dba Hy-Vee Gas, 7121 North Prospect; Managing Officer: Steve Bindseil. Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilman Mark Revenaugh, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith and Mayor Bill Cross.
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to APPROVE PARK FESTIVAL USE PERMITS for the 10th Annual Gladstone Summertime Bluesfest in Oak Grove Park, 76th & North Troost, Friday and Saturday, June 9-10, 2006, and the 27th Annual Gladfest Celebration on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 29-October 1, 2006, in the Gladstone Central Park area, near 69th & N. Holmes, under the sponsorship of the Gladstone Area Chamber of Commerce and City of Gladstone. Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilman Mark Revenaugh, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith and Mayor Bill Cross.
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to APPROVE BEER LICENSES for the Gladstone Summertime Bluesfest in Oak Grove Park, 76th & North Troost, (2-day license), June 9-10, 2006, Managing Officer: Amy Harlin; and the Gladfest Celebration in the Gladstone Central Park area, near 69th & N Holmes, (3-day license), September 29-October 1, 2006. Managing Officer: Amy Harlin. Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilman Mark Revenaugh, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith and Mayor Bill Cross.
Item 6. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE.
Anne Alexander, 6767 North Askew Circle, stated she would like to ask for the help and creativity of the City Council. Ms. Alexander said she likes both animals and people, but does not like either one when they are out of control. Ms. Alexander said Anna and Kenny, who developed the North Oak Garden Center, have torn down a derelict building, improved the property, and have complied with everything asked by the City, and are bringing in needed sales tax dollars. This business is having problems with feral cats. Ms. Alexander stated it is ludicrous to her that we have in place in this country where if it were a human being damaging property, action could be taken, but wild cats are a problem nation-wide. The cats have torn the plastic on the shelter for the plants, costing the owners over $400 to repair the damage. There is an odor due to the animals’ excrement on the plants. Ms. Alexander continued by saying that apparently there is a woman feeding the cats, but it is almost certain the cats are not immunized. If they bite or scratch a child, it would be difficult to know which cat did it, which could be a problem.
Ms. Alexander asked for help in taking down the hay bales
that are covered with plastic and provide shelter for the cats. A way needs to be found to get rid of the
cats. It is a lovely idea to catch the
cats in order to neuter and immunize them, and then turn them loose. If the cats are turned loose, there will be
the same problem. Ms. Alexander stated,
apparently, the cats only live about two years, so if this is done, it will
eventually eliminate the cats. That
would cost about $50 to $75 per cat, which is a lot for
Ms. Alexander said this is a problem throughout the
country and our community – do we need a law or an Ordinance to address the
problem of feral cats? Ms. Alexander
said she is counting on the
Mayor Cross inquired into the approximate number of cats in the area Ms. Alexander has referenced.
Ms. Alexander replied there are approximately 50 cats in the area.
Mayor Cross asked City Counselor David Ramsay if there is an Ordinance that addresses this issue.
Counselor Ramsay replied the City has general nuisance Ordinances in place. Counselor Ramsay stated the information he has is that near the end of April some steps were taken by Fire Inspector Chuck Duddy and some others to set traps for the cats; however, he does not know what the status is as of this date.
Mayor Cross asked City Manager Kirk Davis if he was knowledgeable of the problem with the cats.
Councilman Wayne Beer stated the feral cat issue is a widespread concern, and is an often-reoccurring problem. Councilman Beer said his neighborhood is one of those areas that also has a feral cat problem, and he has a neighbor that is feeding the feral cats. If they were dogs, Animal Control would pick them up, per City Ordinance. Councilman Beer said this is an issue that has been brought forward in a number of places elsewhere, and believes in the past the feral cat issue has been dealt with in our City. Whenever a Bill is proposed regarding cats, those who are cat lovers become very much “up in arms”. Councilman Beer stated the political side of the issue becomes very difficult; however, cats, in his opinion, have the same kinds of public safety issues as dogs. Although cats may not be as big as many dogs, they can spread disease, if not to people, to other pets. Councilman Beer said he believes the City should have some kind of control, similar to the control of dogs. Councilman Beer said if a citizen catches a cat and takes it to Animal Control, Animal Control can deal with it, but if the cat is just roaming wild, Animal Control has no authority to pick up the cat. Councilman Beer said it is his opinion that Animal Control should be given the authority to catch cats that are unlicensed and roaming free.
Ms. Alexander said
Mayor Cross stated he did visit with Animal Control officers yesterday and they said they would like to do more, but because of manpower and the number of cats, it is impossible for them to address the problem. Mayor Cross asked City Manager Davis to investigate the issue, and report back to City Council members.
John Garner, 111 Heatherton Court, asked if there has been any more communication between the City and the bank since his subdivision was repossessed.
Mr. Wingerson stated the City has received certification that the retaining wall was reconstructed properly. The City has received a letter from the bank and appropriate paperwork from licensed plumbers indicating that the backflow devices have been tested where necessary and approved. The City has received a commitment from the bank that construction debris down the hill on the south side of the development will be removed as part of the normal construction process. Mr. Wingerson stated that these are three very big steps that seem to have been cleared. Mr. Wingerson said he would get the details of the correspondence to Mr. Garner tomorrow.
Mr. Wingerson reported there has been some interest in the purchase of the property by an area developer. Mr. Wingerson stated he believes before long things will look better in this area.
Mr. Garner reported that mowing needs to be done on the vacant lots in his area. Six of the seven homeowners contribute $65 per month to hire a mowing crew to mow their lawns and the entryway to the subdivision. The homeowners just spent $320 to remove the weeds and plant new landscaping around the entryway. Mr. Garner said the homeowners would appreciate the bank mowing the vacant lots, because there are weeds on the vacant lots that are 1 foot to 2 ½ feet tall.
Mr. Wingerson said he would call the bank before he e-mails Mr. Garner, and hopefully he will also be able to relay the response from the bank.
Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith stated he might be able to shed a little light on this issue, in that one of the developers that was looking at the property had an engineering firm look at the various drainage issues. The engineers came back with an estimate of nearly a quarter of a million dollars to get the project to a point where the developer would be interested in taking over the project. Mayor Pro Tem Smith said the bank has repossessed the property and has a great deal of money in the property; there is a quarter million dollars of work to be done, and there are a limited number of lots. Unless the bank is willing to come to the table, which perhaps they will, it is an untenable situation.
Councilman Beer asked how the drainage problems came to be so severe; this had to be dealt with from an engineering standpoint before the project ever began.
Mr. Wingerson replied the original design to the first retaining wall, which primarily has to do with the area above the development at the apartment complex, should have been constructed to address those concerns, and had the water redirected to a swale between units. It would have worked perfectly, but unfortunately, the retaining wall was not constructed appropriately and it failed, causing a portion of the apartment complex parking lot to slide down the hill with it. When that occurred, the drainage conditions changed, and the way that was once appropriate is no longer appropriate without improvements up the hill to the apartment complex. Mr. Wingerson said what he believes Mayor Pro Tem Smith is referring to is remediation of the uphill portion, which is actually outside of the development, but has to be fixed because of the failure of the initial retaining wall.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith agreed that is correct, and in fact the apartment complex ownership, to protect its interest, has filed some litigation regarding this issue.
Councilman Beer inquired into who has responsibility for the remediation. It sounds like the reconstruction and redesign of the retaining wall was only part of the issue.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith said that is only keeping it from getting worse, and he does not know who is responsible. The easiest course would be for a developer to submit to the bank estimates of the cost of the total package, and the property to be released for an agreed upon price. That is the quickest and simplest solution. Mayor Pro Tem Smith said he believed there is at least one developer and the bank that are talking at this point.
Councilman Beer asked if the original owner/developer has any liability or responsibility at this time.
Mr. Wingerson replied that is what the litigation is about.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith said, not to offer a legal opinion, but he believes that just because the bank has foreclosed, if they should take a loss on the property, the borrower would still be liable. The bank still has recourse against the borrower.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith stated that he has seen some communications from Mr. Wingerson and staff that have been sent to the bank, and it has been made perfectly clear what the City’s expectations are of anyone involved with the project for permits to be issued. Mr. Wingerson has done a very good job of staying on top of this issue.
Item 7. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE CITY COUNCIL.
Councilman Mark Revenaugh had no comments at this time.
Councilman Wayne Beer stated one of the items on the Consent Agenda dealt with playground equipment at the Happy Rock softball complex. One of the bidders on this project took exception to the bid process and sent a letter suggesting there were some irregularities. Councilman Beer said Council did determine that there were no irregularities and therefore the project was not removed from the Consent Agenda and the Consent Agenda was approved as presented.
Councilman Beer reported that there would be a preconstruction kick-off meeting/open house on May 30, between the hours of 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM, with remarks at 5:00 PM, at the Williams House, located at 70th and North Cherry, which will be the new location for the Gladstone Area Chamber of Commerce. There will be refreshments served and all are invited.
Councilman Carol Rudi had no comments at this time.
Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith had no comments at this time.
Mayor Bill Cross asked Parks and Recreation Director Sheila Lillis how many people attended the middle schools orchestra concert at the Gladstone Amphitheatre.
Director Lillis replied the honors orchestras from the middle schools performed, along with the Antioch Middle School Jazz and Fiddle group, under the direction of Steve Pelke. Four different groups performed during the day, and over 550 parents, friends, and interested residents attended. It was a very nice day. This is the first event for the summer program. This event is in its third year and has grown each year.
Mayor Cross thanked Director Lillis and City staff for their help in taking care of his wife’s plants over the past six months. They have been returned to his home safely and look very good.
Mayor Cross asked how many citizens of
Public Works Director Chuck Williams reported that over the three-day event, 2,000 vehicles dropped off brush. Several vehicles made repeat trips. Mr. Williams said this event, much like the beautification event, is very much appreciated by the public.
Mayor Cross reported that Pastor Bob Baier, of the
Mayor Cross complimented City Manager Davis on the
quarterly report that he and City staff assembled. It was outstanding. Mayor Cross said he learned a lot from it. Much was accomplished in this quarter alone,
which makes one proud to be a
Mayor Cross thanked City staff for their help during his term as President of the Clay County Coordinating Committee. City staff helped make this past year one of the most successful years for the Clay County Coordinating Committee. Many favorable comments were received.
Item 8. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE CITY MANAGER.
City Manager Kirk Davis reported the annual
Summertime Bluesfest will be June 9 and 10 at
Item 9. on the Agenda. COUNCIL
CONSIDERATION OF A SIGN VARIANCE for the
Pam Raisher, stated she is the owner of
Councilman Rudi asked what kind of signage was allowed when the Special Use Permit was issued.
Mr. Wingerson replied the Special Use Permit allowed “compliant signage”. When the Special Use Permit was approved, the banner sign was a form of compliant signage. Since the Ordinance changed, it is now a temporary form of compliant signage for the defined period of 14 to 21 days. The variance is requesting that the banner be allowed to be permanent.
Councilman Beer asked if the banner would be in a cabinet type of enclosure, which is something the City is encouraging other temporary banner users to utilize.
Mr. Wingerson replied that was correct.
Councilman Mark Revenaugh asked if the Signage Ordinance changed after the issuance of Ms. Raisher’s Special Use Permit.
Mr. Wingerson replied that was correct.
Councilman Raisher asked if Ms. Raisher could be “grandfathered” in, as the City changed the rules after she received the permit.
Mr. Wingerson replied the approach the City took was an implementation period of one year on the banner signage, so there was no “grandfather” provision allowed for banner signage – just a year to comply. It was a delayed implementation so people could adjust and comply at the time.
Councilman Revenaugh asked if Ms. Raisher’s banner would have been in compliance without the Ordinance change.
Mr. Wingerson replied yes, and this Ordinance change also affected 62 other businesses.
Councilman Revenaugh asked if the 62 other businesses are also having to change their signage.
Mr. Wingerson replied a vast majority of the businesses are having to change their signage.
Councilman Revenaugh asked if there have been any neighborhood complaints about the banner sign.
Mr. Wingerson replied not to his knowledge.
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to approve a Sign Variance for the Creative Arts Academy property located at 1904 NE Englewood Road. Applicant/Owner: PS Properties (Pam Raisher). Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith seconded.
Councilman Revenaugh stated that perhaps City Council would need to look at this on a case-by-case basis to be fair to all 62 businesses if they were to come before the Council. Councilman Revenaugh said he agrees with the motion and does not feel it is fair to change the rules with a business after the business has complied with the rules, and then there is an Ordinance change, especially as it can really affect the operation of a small business, where there has been substantial investment. Councilman Revenaugh said this action makes sense to him and he feels Council is moving in the right direction on this issue.
Councilman Carol Rudi stated to her the issue is not a small business, but the fact that this is a Special Use Permit, and generally in a Special Use Permit area there is no signage. The City has not rezoned the area to allow a business in a particular location, so it is different from other businesses that are in a correct zoning. Councilman Rudi asked Mr. Wingerson to help in clarifying this situation.
Mr. Wingerson agreed with Councilman Rudi, and said what is key in this instance is that there is a Special Use Permit in place and it is different from a commercial property on North Oak Trafficway. There are issues with signage in a neighborhood that are different than signage on an arterial. Mr. Wingerson stated he does not know that it is the rule change that is of concern here, but it is more along the lines of the Special Use Permit and the character of this business within that neighborhood, so it is a very narrow variance discussion for tonight’s consideration.
Councilman Beer asked if the Special Use Permit did allow for compliance signage.
Mr. Wingerson replied yes, and Ms. Raisher does have compliant signage on the property in partnership with the Baptist Church, as well as directional signage, some of which, at the request of the Planning Commission, and ultimately approved by City Council, to separate employee parking from student/customer parking. Mr. Wingerson said all of this is in place, and the signage complies as it is today, and complied prior to the rule change. Mr.Wingerson explained the question here is the Special Use Permit and the character of this within that neighborhood.
The vote: All “aye” – Councilman Mark Revenaugh, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith and Mayor Bill Cross.
Item 10. on the Agenda. FIRST READING BILL 06-14, amending Ordinance Number 3.988 by enacting a new tax rate in conformity with the “Municipal Telecommunications Business License Tax Simplification Act“, based on new information from the office of the Missouri Director of Revenue.
Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith moved to place Bill No. 06-14 on First Reading. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilman Mark Revenaugh, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith, Mayor Bill Cross.
(5-0). The Clerk read the Bill.
Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith moved to accept the First Reading of Bill 06-14, Waive the Rule and place the Bill on Second and Final Reading. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilman Mark Revenaugh, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith, Mayor Bill Cross. (5-0). The Clerk read the Bill.
Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith moved to accept the Second and Final Reading of Bill 06-14 and enact the Bill as Ordinance 3.993. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded.
Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith stated for the edification for those in the audience, the Missouri House of Representatives and the Missouri Senate agreed to a Bill last year; there was a drafting error in the Bill, so there was a mistake in the Bill. The State legislature cannot agree to go back and fix the mistake to have it read the way it read prior to the mistake. The reason this is of some interest is the difference in the Bill will cost the City of Gladstone approximately a quarter of a million dollars per year. That money would fund five police officers, five firefighters, or could provide for additional paved streets. Mayor Pro Tem Smith said the politics in Jefferson City is a disservice and making an unjust situation for the citizens of Gladstone and the residents of the State of Missouri. Mayor Pro Tem Smith said he does not understand why so many members of the State legislature are beholden to telecommunications companies. Mayor Pro Tem Smith said the public in our state does not realize this is happening and if they do he does not understand how they tolerate it. Mayor Pro Tem Smith said he does not understand this, and we are helpless to do anything about it.
Mayor Cross said citizens can keep track as to how their State Representatives vote on this issue.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith said our Representatives have been very responsive.
Councilman Beer said the City needs to give credit to Representatives Nolte and Silvey for supporting Gladstone’s interests opposed to the party line interests. Councilman Beer said he wished to commend Representatives Nolte and Silvey, as they have been good friends to the City of Gladstone.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith agreed.
Roll Call Vote: All “aye” – Councilman Mark Revenaugh, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith, Mayor Bill Cross. (5-0)
Item 11. on the Agenda. OTHER BUSINESS.
There was no other business
Item 12. on the Agenda. QUESTIONS FROM THE NEWS MEDIA.
There were no questions from the News Media.
Item 13. on the Agenda. ADJOURNMENT
There being no further business to come before the May 8, 2006, Gladstone Regular City Council Meeting, Mayor Bill Cross adjourned the meeting.
Cathy Swenson, City Clerk
Approved as submitted: ___
Approved as corrected/amended: ___
Mayor Bill Cross