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City Council Meeting Minutes

August 20, 2012
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1.         Roll Call

Acting Mayor Willmus called to order the Roseville City Council regular meeting at approximately 6:00 pm. and welcomed everyone. (Voting and Seating Order: Johnson; Willmus and McGehee).  Mayor Roe was unable to attend tonight’s meeting due to illness; and Councilmember Pust had previously announced a prior commitment. City Attorney Mark Gaughan was also present. 

 

2.         Approve Agenda

City Manager Malinen advised that staff was requesting removal of Consent Item 7.a, entitled “Approve Resolution Awarding Bid for Fairview Pathway Project – Phase II (a/k/a Northeast Suburban Campus Connector Bike/Pedestrian Project – Phase II)” until a future meeting.

 

By consensus, was approved as amended.

                                   

Roll Call

            Ayes: Johnson; Willmus; and McGehee.    

            Nays: None.

  

3.         Public Comment

Acting Mayor Willmus called for public comment by members of the audience on any non-agenda items.  No one appeared to speak at this time.

 

4.            Council Communications, Reports, Announcements and Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) Report

                             

5.         Recognitions, Donations, Communications

           

6.         Approve Minutes

Comments and corrections to draft minutes had been submitted by the City Council prior to tonight’s meeting and those revisions were incorporated into the draft presented in the Council packet.

 

a.            Approve Minutes of August 13, 2012 Meeting

McGehee moved, Johnson seconded, approval of the minutes of the August 13, 2012 meeting as amended.

 

Corrections:

·         Page 17, lines 1-5 (McGehee)

Correct to read:

“… budget increase of between $7,000 and $8,000; and if added together, would be an increased tax burden for taxpayers, in addition to the second year of fees as well.  Councilmember McGehee opined that this would be an increase of $15.69 per month for an average home valued at $190,000, or $188 annually, in addition to the projected HRA levy of 2.3%, or a $206.00 increase over the current tax.”

 

Roll Call

            Ayes: Johnson; Willmus; and McGehee.    

            Nays: None.

 

7.            Approve Consent Agenda

There were no additional changes to the Consent Agenda than those previously noted.  At the request of Acting Mayor Willmus, City Manager Bill Malinen briefly reviewed those items being considered under the Consent Agenda.

 

a.            Approve Resolution Awarding Bid for Fairview Pathway Project – Phase II (a/k/a Northeast Suburban Campus Connector Bike / Pedestrian Project – Phase II)

As previously noted, this item was removed by staff.

 

b.            Approve Declaration for Maintenance Agreement  for Stormwater Facilities for Fire Station Project with the Rice Creek Watershed District (RCWD)

Johnson moved, McGehee seconded, authorized approval of declaration for maintenance of stormwater facilities in relation to the new fire station project (Attachment A) between the City of Roseville and the Rice Creek Watershed District (RCWD).

 

Roll Call

            Ayes: Johnson; Willmus; and McGehee.    

            Nays: None.

 

c.            Approve Resolution Receiving Assessment Roll and Setting Assessment Hearing Date for the Project to be Assessed in 2012

Johnson moved, McGehee seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 10999 (Attachment B) entitled, Resolution Receiving Proposed Special Assessment Roll for P-11-02 Dale Street Reconstruction Project and Providing for Hearings;” scheduling hearings on September 24, 2012 for Dale Street Reconstruction between County Road C and S. Owasso Blvd.

 

Roll Call

            Ayes: Johnson; Willmus; and McGehee.    

            Nays: None.

 

8.            Consider Items Removed from Consent

 

12.         General Ordinances for Adoption

 

13.         Presentations

Acting Mayor Willmus announced that no formal action would be taken on Items 10. a, b or c due to not having a full City Council at tonight’s meeting.  However, he invited presentation by staff to provide background and information for the City Council’s preliminary consideration.

 

a.    Resident Survey and Selection of Survey Company / Vendor

Communications Specialist Tim Pratt reviewed additional background from his initial partial presentation at the August 13, 2012 meeting; including the purpose of the survey; staff rationale for recommending Cobalt Community Research to conduct a resident survey as the firm having done the 2011 survey.  Additional detail was provided in the Request for Council Action (RCA) dated August 13 and August 20, 2012.

 

Councilmember McGehee questioned staff’s rationale in recommending that the Cobalt questions, format and method used in 2011 were superior to the firm used in the Request for Proposals (RFP’s) done in the 1998 survey.

 

Mr. Pratt responded that the Cobalt survey was geared specifically to Roseville citizens for budget-related issues and their satisfaction levels.

 

At the request of Acting Mayor Willmus, Mr. Pratt advised that he had a list of the twelve (12) vendors from whom staff had solicited RFP’s, and those having chosen not to respond, but not available at tonight’s meeting.  Mr. Pratt advised that Decision Resources and the National Research Center had both asked additional questions upon receipt of the RFP, but had apparently subsequently chosen not to submit a proposal.

 

In response to Acting Mayor Willmus’ comment that no formal action would be taken tonight; Mr. Pratt noted that this would not allow sufficient time to return data by December of 2012.

 

In response to Councilmember McGehee’s comments regarding timing for the survey, City Manager Malinen advised that in planning discussions earlier in 2012, the City Council and staff had determined that the time to perform a survey was preferably after Labor Day and before the holidays, thus the time frame proposed and based on goal setting processes.

 

In response to Councilmember McGehee’s question as to whether approval of a survey had come before the City Council as a formal request and her personal questioning of why she needed this information by December, City Manager Malinen noted that earlier discussions among the City Council and staff related to the Performance Management Program had intended to use this information throughout the budget cycle.  City Manager Malinen briefly referenced recent State Auditor rulings on surveys and potential imposition of levy limits; noting that this could become a significant issue in future City Council decision-making.

 

Acting Mayor Willmus, in his discussions with Mayor Roe prior to tonight’s meeting, reiterated that Mayor Roe had asked that formal action be held until a future meeting to allow the full body to participate.  Acting Mayor Willmus noted that, if the question was called at tonight’s meeting, it had little chance of succeeding.

 

b.    Proposal to Redesign the City’s Website

Communications Specialist Tim Pratt highlighted the proposed redesign of the City’s website to make it more user-friendly and enhance electronic communications with citizens, as detailed in the Request for Council Action (RCA) and Attachment A, dated August 20, 2012.

 

Mr. Pratt noted that, during staff’s review of various website design providers, and software providing a single entry and only one set of software.  After staff’s extensive review, Mr. Pratt advised that staff had become aware that the information they had generated in their review had provided the overall criteria generally provided in an RFP, but had been completed in-house.  Mr. Pratt noted that website design for government was a specialized field, and in Ramsey County only two (2) companies provided services to government, as detailed in the RCA. 

 

Mr. Pratt advised that staff was recommending the firm of Vision Internet for redesign and hosting of the City’s website, with their proposal having been reduced from $30,000 in 2011 to $24,000 at this time, and allowing for redesign before year-end.  Mr. Pratt advised that, if completed in December of 2012, it would then allow for the City to save another $7,500 in annual hosting fees with the current provider.  Mr. Pratt noted that this was a tight timetable to redesign a website, but if the City Council took formal action tonight, the firm assured staff that it could be done.

 

Councilmember McGehee advised that there were many things in each department’s strategic plans that she wanted to discuss and their specifics for the website (e.g. online permits, fee payments) before making a decision on this website design to assure that it was compatible with each department.  Regarding the limited number of website designers for government in Ramsey County, Councilmember McGehee opined that there were other counties in the metropolitan area other than Ramsey County.  Councilmember McGehee noted there were other issues to consider for the website, including access, mobile applications and how to format to smaller screens; and without knowing the needs of other departments, she was unable to make an informed decision at this time.

 

Mr. Pratt advised that during staff’s overall needs analysis and discussions with Finance Director Miller regarding electronic payments, the e-commerce module available through Vision Internet was compatible, even though it may require a double entry due to the City’s use of a third party vendor.  Regarding park reservations, an identified need, Mr. Pratt advised that this was only one of the items vetted during staff’s review of proposals and as department-specific needs were identified.

 

Councilmember McGehee opined that she still wanted to be assured of that by individual department heads during their Strategic Plan presentations.

 

Councilmember Johnson advised that he had researched the Eden Prairie site, one of the references of Vision Internet, and found it very user-friendly and intuitive.  Councilmember Johnson noted that, one concern of his after the fact, was how easy it would be for staff to manage, update and track use for each independent portion; concurring that government is more specific than typical businesses.

 

Mr. Pratt advised that this had been an area of major concern with the City’s current vendor, but with the Vision Internet proposal, “what you see is what you get” was a definite advantage and made the system much easier to use.

 

Acting Mayor Willmus noted that he had also visited the Eden Prairie site and found it user-friendly.  However, Acting Mayor Willmus opined that he would have preferred a formal RFP process with Department Heads involved addressing their specific needs on a potential website.  Acting Mayor Willmus stated that he wasn’t so concerned about getting it up in the next few months and preferred to talk with Department Heads and a path worked out for all departments.

 

Councilmember McGehee opined that the aesthetics of the website were of interest to her as well, and not just a generic template.

 

Mr. Pratt responded that the aesthetics were different for each City.

 

c.    Strategic Plans (2014 – 2017)

Acting Mayor Willmus invited Department Heads to the table with Councilmembers for a roundtable discussion as each Department presented their 2014-2017 Strategic Plans.

 

City Manager Malinen presented an overview of the 2014-2017 Strategic Plan developed by staff in accordance with goals defined by the City Council during their strategic planning sessions.  City Manager Malinen noted that this was intended to serve as a framework for upcoming budgets, priority ranking, and capital improvements, as well as long-term work goals for each department.  City Manager Malinen advised that the Strategic Plan would be incorporated into the Performance Management Program to provide a comprehensive approach and ongoing evaluation over the next four (4) years and next two (2) biennial budgets.

At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Acting Mayor Willmus noted that there would be time for questions and clarifications after each Department presentation.

 

By department, Department Heads provided background, value statements, current and projected staffing, goals and priorities based on City Council directives and overall vision; and proposed Action Plans for each goal and priority.

 

Administration Department

City Manager Malinen reviewed the Administration Department’s goals and their respective action plans.

 

Acting Mayor Willmus questioned whether Goal #2 identified as “Explore ways to improve sustainability through purchase and practices, and apply sustainable methods to areas where appropriate;” was actually an administrative function or whether another department might serve that intended goal better.

 

City Manager Malinen responded that, after giving that goal some thought, it was conceivable and possibly appropriate that as the City‘s development of its sustainability practices at a higher level, it may be better to shift that from Administration to the Public Works Department.

 

Councilmember McGehee opined that an obvious omission from this Goal appeared to be “organized collection,” even though it had been discussed at the Public Works, Environment, and Transportation Commission (PWETC) and subsequently recommended to the City Council.  Councilmember McGehee further opined that there were a lot of sustainability and other programs (e.g. green space) beyond recycling; and offered that she would not be opposed to seeing sustainability and environmental protection emphasized as part of the City’s “Living Smarter” campaign. 

 

Councilmember McGehee addressed potential costs (e.g. Goal #5) for hiring another outside consultant for the visioning process; and whether this was intended as an ongoing cost or a one-time major expenditure, or what the City Manager intended.  Councilmember McGehee referenced a letter from former PWETC Chair Jim DeBenedet and his well-reasoned and rational letter of request based on his experience as a volunteer for Roseville.  However, Councilmember McGehee questioned what reaction the City Council intended to address his feedback.

 

Councilmember McGehee questioned the City’s need for $10,000 in 2014 to pursue a local option sales tax; based on her understanding that pursuing such a referendum should cost the City nothing.

 

City Manger Malinen advised that the estimated cost was intended as a placeholder reflecting potential costs should a Special Election be needed.

 

Regarding the Administration goal of volunteer coordination, Councilmember McGehee questioned how this would be coordinated with the Parks and Recreation Department since they had a significant number of volunteers.

 

Parks and Recreation Director Lonnie Brokke noted that their department did not have a Volunteer Coordinator yet, but it was included in their future action plans.

 

Councilmember McGehee encouraged coordination of those two efforts to achieve maximum savings.

 

Community Development Department

Community Development Director Patrick Trudgeon reviewed the various functions of this department, including the Roseville Housing and Redevelopment Authority, as well as Planning/Zoning, Economic Development, Code Compliance and GIS Services.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that the Department, funded primarily through revenue from fees and permits, remained stable at this time following several years of diminished revenue. 

 

Mr. Trudgeon reviewed the goals of the Department, highlighting those items identified and similar to the City Council’s Strategic Planning related to pursuing economic development and regional and local transportation (e.g. Northeast Diagonal) efforts.

 

Councilmember Johnson noted that Goal #8 identified as “Partner with Roseville business community and external entities to promote a Diverse Local Economy through expansion of existing businesses and attraction of desirable and needed businesses;” was also an HRA priority.

 

Mr. Trudgeon concurred, noting that there was some overlap since there was some uncertainty under whose purview the responsibility fell; but allowing the HRA to step into any void and include potential funding through the HRA levy as applicable through partnership at a minimum, since some of the staff worked in both separate entities.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that finding how best to leverage resources to make the best possible arrangement was still pending.

 

Councilmember McGehee expressed appreciation for the mention of a newsletter, since everything to-date was geared toward digital efforts.  When talking about the website, Councilmember McGehee encouraged that a really good search engine was available, rather than the current one she found frustrating.   Councilmember McGehee provided Mr. Trudgeon and Public Works Director Schwartz a copy of her research on the shoreland ordinance issue, following her personal contact with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and their status on the impermeability of swimming pools.

Mr. Trudgeon advised that staff would follow up with them.

 

Acting Mayor Willmus noted the current process when an applicant came to City Hall for a permit and the payment through Finance Department staff; and questioned the rationale for that process, whether for separation of functions, or whether it could be handled internally through the Community Development Department staff.

 

Finance Director Miller advised that staff had discussed the process and whether it made sense to have a centralized receipt system; however, he noted that changing the process would require a decentralized point of sale, and require additional equipment purchases and employee training.  From the standpoint of controls, Mr. Miller advised that there was no need for a centralized cashier desk other than utilizing the infrastructure already in place.

 

Acting Mayor Willmus asked staff to review any potential personnel savings by having point of sale for the process, specifically in the Community Development Department.

 

Mr. Trudgeon noted that a lot of permits were process by the current personnel; however, he further noted that this function was not the only one performed by that position.

 

At the request of Acting Mayor Willmus, Finance Director Miller advised that only a small daily percentage of permits from the Community Development Department were processed by the Receptionist position.

 

Councilmember McGehee questioned if online permit and fee applications and payments were available in the future, would it reduce the number of applications in person.

 

Mr. Trudgeon opined that it would reduce it somewhere, specifically for homeowners seeking basic permits and not requiring a more in-depth review by staff.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that rental registration had been added online this year, and a good percentage of rental owners took advantage of that, but noted that it was a simple process to do so.    Mr. Trudgeon advised that staff would continue to look into the online process to make it easier for residents.

 

At the request of Councilmember McGehee as to whether it would save time for record keeping purposes, Finance Director Miller responded that it would not save any time in that area.

 

 

 

Finance Department

Finance Director Chris Miller reviewed the three divisions under the Finance Department: Finance/Accounting, Information Technology (IT), and the License Center; and their respective goals, staffing levels, continuing increased staffing needs for the IT Division based on the needs of partner cities and covered by revenues from those partnership agreements; and those goals specifically related to City Council goals and others related to the long-term success and operation of the department.

 

Finance Director Miller asked that the City Council give consideration to whether there was an ongoing role for the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) Task Force.

 

At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Miller confirmed that his projected need of $2.6 million annually going forward included facilities, equipment and rolling stock, and what was formerly known as the Parks Improvement Plan (PIP); along with IT needs to maintain the City’s overall technology and infrastructure needs.  While some of the funds were identified through a combination of additional fees to support infrastructure, and property taxes, Mr. Miller advised that this was not the only solution, and additional resources would be required and funding through other sources needed.

 

At the request of Councilmember Johnson, Mr. Miller advised that the average ages of computers being retired was between 5-6 years, and staff’s preference would be to keep that closer to 3-4 years, given ever-increasing technological advances.

 

At the request of Acting Mayor Willmus on the potential return of the License Center (Goal #6) returning to the City Campus, Mr. Miller advised that this had been an objective of staff for almost a decade, that the License Center could be housed in a city-owned facility, whether on campus or elsewhere, with the first choice being on the City Hall campus.

 

Acting Mayor Willmus expressed his concern with the License Center, a major revenue generator for the City, remaining in leased facilities and at the whim of a lease agreement.  Acting Mayor Willmus asked staff to review the current lease agreement and any short termination clause should that strip mall redevelop or be sold and moves in a different direction and how the City would be protected.

 

Finance Director Miller advised that the existing lease was for a four (4) year term, and would be up for discussion at the upcoming City Council meeting (August 27, 2012), with staff recommending renewal for another four (4) years, following their negotiations with the current mall owner.  Mr. Miller advised that this was staff’s recommendation since they saw no momentum to build space for a License Center over the next four (4) years.  Mr. Miller advised that he would review the cancellation clause, and admitted that such an event was a risk; however, he noted that the City and current landlord had a good relationship, and the License Center was a traffic generator at the mall, providing them a net benefit and probably the last tenant they would want to turn away.  However, Mr. Miller reiterated that there was some risk involved.

 

Councilmember Johnson asked that as the Finance Department moved forward in updating the License Center business plan, it include planning to bring the Center back on campus of an alternative site owned by the City to bring the profit level back to the City.

 

Finance Director Miller advised that staff had several sites in mind; however, they were reluctant to recommend building a facility specifically for the License Center, opining that it made more long-term sense to partner with another City facility.  However, Mr. Miller noted that this was not on the table over the next 4-5 years.

 

At the request of Acting Mayor Willmus, Mr. Miller suggested that the CIP Task Force could serve an ongoing role or function, depending on the objective of the City Council.  Mr. Miller noted that, as it currently operated as a subcommittee of the City Council with staff support, it provided for a more detailed review of CIP needs and a subsequent report to the full body.  Mr. Miller noted the various functions of the Task Force (e.g. water/sewer infrastructure, rolling stock and equipment, and now Parks and Recreation and other needs); noting that its future and function would depend on the City Council’s information needs and how much time they wanted to devote to that issue along.

 

Fire Department

Fire Chief Tim O’Neill provided an overview of staffing, facilities and whether in the next two (2) years to consider a future First Response Team to transport patients.  Chief O’Neill noted that this would require considerable time and analysis, including addressing State Statute levels for Provider Service Areas (PSA), and other considerations. 

 

Chief O’Neill noted that for a current firefighter to become fully trained, it required a three (3) year training cycle; with many of those fully trained firefighters then moving on to other departments providing full-time employment, and creating significant turnover of firefighters for the Roseville Fire Department.  Chief O’Neill noted current actions regarding potential unionization for firefighter pay and benefits by the State Mediation Board.

 

At the request of Acting Mayor Willmus, Chief O’Neill addressed recent changes in location of Allina rescue units from Arden Hills to Mounds View, creating some reduced response times for Roseville, depending on the location of the call. 

 

At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Chief O’Neill advised that it took an average of one minute for Ramsey County Dispatch Center to alert Roseville to dispatch; with Chief O’Neill advising that the Department met with Ramsey County periodically to seek resolution for any potential discrepancies or problem areas to ensure the best response time possible for citizens.

 

At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Chief O’Neill reviewed the extensive process and considerations for changing emergency transportation providers and service areas; and requirements for providing those services and maintaining a certain level of care for the community.  Chief O’Neill referenced House File 2720 from 2011 allowing municipalities to choose whether to have an outside, private organization or someone else (e.g. Fire Department) contracted to provide that service; however, the bill died without hearing at the legislative level.  Chief O’Neill noted that there had been several similar attempts to change the law over the last decade, but not receiving much traction.

 

At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Chief O’Neill advised that approximately 70% of the Department’s calls were EMS-related, with the remaining, approximately 1,100 fire calls received annually.

 

Parks and Recreation Department

Parks & Recreation Director Lonnie Brokke noted that his department would work with administration on a volunteer management position to see what areas overlapped.

 

At the request of Councilmember Johnson, Mr. Brokke noted that the 10% reduction in recreation program participants from 2010 to 2011 was based on timing for the reporting process.

 

At the request of Acting Mayor Willmus, Mr. Brokke advised that the Roseville Skating Center had seen no decrease with the Vadnais Center coming on line, and actually had seen an increase in August usage.

 

At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Brokke noted that the largest addition and dollar ramifications would be through additional personnel.

 

Councilmember McGehee suggested that the City pursue a referendum by Friday, August 24, 2012, in order to provide citizens with a chance to weigh in on future park and recreation needs; and asked that City staff be directed to move forward accordingly for bonding before year-end for the remainder of the money needed.

 

City Manager Malinen questioned how such a timeline could possibly be accomplished by Friday, since the City Council would need to vote on such action prior to moving forward. 

 

Acting Mayor Willmus refocused discussion on the issue currently before the body.

 

 

Police Department

Police Chief Rick Mathwig provided an overview of the department’s goals, noting that since many are operational in nature, they don’t necessarily relate to the goals and vision of the Imagine Roseville 2025 process; however, they were important to the City’s future.  Chief Mathwig reviewed the department’s four (4) divisions: patrol, investigative, administrative, and community service. 

 

Chief Mathwig noted that the increase in technology-related crimes had been the most notable change during his tenure. 

 

In addressing Goal #2, Chief Mathwig noted that one (1) officer position had been deleted in 2010 and never replaced; and that in the area experiencing the largest crime portion in the retail community.  While Rosedale Mall management remained a great partner to the department, Chief Mathwig noted that it has a major impact on the Police Department without additional staff available.  With the current needs throughout the community, and with Har Mar and Rosedale Mall, and the addition of redevelopment in the Twin Lakes area, Chief Mathwig estimated that 86% of one full-time officer would be required.  As further redevelopment and exterior store development around the proposed Wal-Mart retailer occurred supporting additional mixed use retail and housing Chief Mathwig opined that there would be even more police and fire department calls for service.  Chief Mathwig asked that consideration be given to the addition of commercial patrol officers for those large retail hubs to focus specifically on those areas.  If this was not made available, Chief Mathwig opined that some of the current less vital policing (e.g. traffic enforcement, neighborhood patrols) would suffer to accommodate the needs of those larger retail areas and related crime throughout the community.

 

At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Chief Mathwig advised that ongoing conversations with retailers on resources they could bring to the table continued over many years, and as recently as several weeks ago with Rosedale Mall management.

 

At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Chief Mathwig advised that officers and staff continued to train on responses for those suffering from mental health issues; with the goal of the department to always try to improve.  Chief Mathwig advised that, while staff had trained in the past online for such situations, they were currently pursuing a department-wide, eight (8) hour training class specific to mental health issues with the instructor from the law enforcement field.

 

At the request of Acting Mayor Willmus, Chief Mathwig addressed other communities having commercial officers and how those positions had evolved with officers patrolling commercial areas on their own and a program borne from that practice.  At the last survey of other departments, Chief Mathwig advised that none of the communities he had researched had a piece of the financial needs paid for by the commercial community with the exception of the Mall of America and their separate taxing district authority, providing for 5-6 officers plus a sergeant.

 

Public Works/Engineering

Public Works Director Duane Schwartz addressed challenges in maintaining vegetation in transportation corridors and rights-of-way; with the PWETC currently working on a Complete Streets Policy for recommendation to the City Council later this year.  Mr. Schwartz advised that his department and the Finance Department would continue to review the potential for a tiered utility rate structure.  Mr. Schwartz reviewed other goals and objectives, as well as regional transportation efforts; and their specific Action Steps.

 

Mr. Schwartz highlighted the intended restructuring of the department from a management standpoint for better planning and checks/balances through moving line staff to larger roles; which would also address succession planning and retention of institutional knowledge moving forward, given several upcoming retirements of long-term employees in the department.

 

Councilmember Johnson noted that, when the City Council met jointly with the PWETC, one member alluded to funding not at proper levels for the department; and whether this was due to the CIP Task Force recommendations or other programs the PWETC thought needed to be a priority.

 

Mr. Schwartz advised that his interpretation of that comment was that the PWETC recognized the need for implementation of infrastructure funding to remain successful long-term; and related maintenance of that infrastructure.  Mr. Schwartz opined that he found their comment to be consistent with the direction the department and City was now moving.

 

Councilmember McGehee noted the addition of benches along pathways at strategic spots; with Councilmember Johnson noting that this was part of a Ramsey County Program.   Councilmember Johnson noted that their intent was for the elderly and those less mobile to be able to see their next destination.

 

Mr. Schwartz concurred, noting that Ramsey County had installed a number of benches, most recently for the Fairview Pathway Project.

 

Councilmember McGehee commended the installation of the benches, opining that they served to support the senior citizen needs of the community.

 

Councilmember McGehee sought assurances that any Asset Management Program was applicable for the City’s website and software programs.

 

Councilmember McGehee mentioned a small engine repair program offered by schools as part of their trade track; and suggested the City consider a partnership with such a program for real life experiences for the students and potential employment within the community.

 

 

Councilmember McGehee questioned how coordination of pathway work and maintenance occurred between the Parks and Public Works departments.

 

Mr. Schwartz advised that typically the Streets Division took care of the trail infrastructure itself, with operational issues (e.g. sweeping, maintenance, snow removal, branch trimming) under the Parks and Recreation Department.  Mr. Schwartz advised that this arrangement had come about based on seasonal labor needs.

 

Parks and Recreation Director Brokke concurred, noting that day-to-day maintenance, in cooperation with the Public Works Department and sharing employees throughout the city, was coordinated among those departments, with the Parks and Recreation Department taking the lead on those maintenance issues.  Mr. Brokke noted the employee-sharing throughout the departments as needs arise, or emergency situations occur.

 

Mr. Schwartz advised that some staffing studies had been done in the early 1990’s to determine whether departments were staffed appropriately.  Mr. Schwartz advised that the Maintenance Division was driven by emergency needs, with the remaining needs met through seasonable employees; and required coordination between the departments to effectively use the time of those employees. 

 

Councilmember Johnson commended the department, and employee group, responsible for the significant reduction in gas usage (page 88) from 2009 – 2010.

 

At the request of Councilmember Johnson, Mr. Schwartz advised that the employee review group was represented by an employee from each department, and each area, whether vehicle use or staff comfort levels in facilities, were reviewed, with changes made in temperature settings, a thorough balancing of the HVAC system installed in 2003/2004.  Mr. Schwartz advised that fine-tuning and balancing that system had resulted in great savings and better comfort levels of employees in those facilities.

 

Councilmember Johnson offered kudos to everyone involved in those cost saving efforts.

 

Acting Mayor Willmus thanked everyone for a great discussion; and good start to the next four (4) years.  As Councilmembers reviewed the information in more detail, Acting Mayor Willmus encouraged them to bring those forward to staff and during future discussions at the City Council level.

 

City Manager Malinen reminded everyone that this Strategic Planning process was intended to help plan and budget better, and allow more detailed measurements for evaluation and re-evaluation.  City Manager Malinen noted that it was intended to revisit these Plans in two (2) years.

 

City Manager Malinen thanked the City Council for their time and asked them to address their questions to his attention.

 

Councilmember Johnson thanked staff for their work on the Strategic Plan.

 

14.         Public Hearings

 

15.         Business Items (Action Items)

 

13.      Business Items – Presentations / Discussions

 

14.      City Manager Future Agenda Review

City Manager Malinen reviewed upcoming agenda items.

 

i.        Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings

Councilmember Johnson expressed his interest in being involved in the City Manager evaluation process this year before he left the bench.  Councilmember Johnson noted that, while his tenure and that of Councilmember Pust were coming to a close, they should weigh in on interaction and involvement with City Manager Malinen before leaving office.

 

City Manager Malinen advised that he would alert Human Resources Director Dona Bacon to that request; and ask her to touch base with Mayor Roe and Councilmember McGehee, the subcommittee tasked with that evaluation, to get it on the schedule.

 

ii.                Adjourn

Johnson moved, McGehee seconded, adjournment of the meeting at approximately 8:38 pm.

Roll Call

Ayes: Johnson; McGehee; and Willmus.    

            Nays: None.  

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