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Council Meeting Minutes
September 14, 2015
1. Roll Call
Mayor Roe called
the meeting to order at approximately 6:00 p.m. Voting and Seating Order: Willmus,
Laliberte, Etten, McGehee and Roe. City Manager Patrick Trudgeon and City Attorney
Mark Gaughan were also present.
2. Pledge of
3. Approve Agenda
City Manager Trudgeon
suggested moving Budget Agenda Items 13.a and b after the City Council's
discussion on possible alternative entities beyond the HRA.
requested removal of Item 8.d from the Consent Agenda for separate
Etten moved, Laliberte
seconded, approval of the agenda as amended.
Laliberte, Etten, McGehee and Roe.
4. Public Comment
Mayor Roe called
for public comment by members of the audience on any non-agenda items. No one
appeared to speak.
Communications, Reports, and Announcements
Roe announced that, due to technical issues with the site Playground Build at
Central Park - Lexington Avenue scheduled for September 26 would be rescheduled
to a future date, possibly in the spring of 2016.
Trudgeon clarified that the Playground Build at Central Park - Victoria Street
will still occur on September 26, 2016 as previously scheduled.
Laliberte congratulated the City's Communications staff in their ability to
access KSTP as a media source to advertise these activities.
announced several upcoming Roseville events, including a car seat clinic at the
Roseville Fire Station; ongoing Roseville University classes scheduled yet this
fall (additional information on the City's website or by contacting Kari
Collins at City Hall via phone at 792-7023 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org);
Housing & Redevelopment Authority (HRA) sponsored workshops at the Ramsey
County Library - Roseville Branch (information available on the library's
website under "events/classes" or at City Hall via phone to Jane Reilly at
792-7078 or Jane.Reilly@cityofroseville.com);
Civility Training sponsored by the Human Rights Commission; and the 12th
Annual Wild Rice Festival at the Harriet Alexander Nature Center.
McGehee announced the availability of free magnet packets for holding medical
information in case of an emergency through the City's Fire Department Administration
Donations and Communications
Hispanic Heritage Month
Mayor Roe read
a proclamation declaring September 15 - October 15, 2015 as Hispanic Heritage
Month, inviting all members of the community to celebrate this month's theme in
"Honoring our Heritage. Building Our Future;" as amended.
McGehee moved, Etten
seconded, proclaiming September 15 - October 15, 2015 as Hispanic Heritage
Month in Roseville, MN.
Willmus, Laliberte, Etten, McGehee and Roe.
7. Approve Minutes
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.
Approve July 20, 2015 Regular Meeting Minutes
Laliberte provided additional corrections that she had e-mailed to staff but
had not found with other corrections.
McGehee moved, Willmus
seconded, approval of July 20, 2015 Meeting Minutes as amended and further
edited this evening, including those of Councilmembers Laliberte and McGehee.
Page 24, Lines 12 - 13 (Roe)
sentence as highlighted in draft.
Page 24, Lines 29 - 31 (Roe)
paragraph as highlighted in draft.
Page 32, Lines 29 - 35 (Laliberte)
read: "Councilmember Laliberte noted that, during the last conversation with
Sherman in February seeking individual Councilmember feedback, she had made it
clear that she was unsure [whether] [how] to use TIF for
housing and [was concerned] [concern] with [or]
how numbers were presented and differed, making it hard to track and follow.
Councilmember Laliberte noted this had not changed over time with this
situation or how she felt about it making her even [more] [less]
in favor of using TIF for [this] housing project[s]."
Page 32, Lines 43 - 45 (Laliberte)
read: "not provide for a good understanding [of] [for]
the public or City Council, and have created some discomfort for her in the
number of side conversations, individual phone conversations [providing]
[seeking] encouragement, or other discussions outside those."
Page 33, Line 4 (Laliberte)
read: "funding mechanisms. Councilmember Laliberte noted [because of
the] lack of long-term jobs"
Page 33, Line 35 (Laliberte)
read: "While not [knowing] [understanding] the scenario"
Approve August 10, 2015 Regular Meeting Minutes
Etten seconded, approval of August 10, 2015 Meeting Minutes as amended.
Page 25, Lin 2 (McGehee)
read: "salaries have [not] tripled."
Page 39, Line 42 (McGehee)
read: "actually addressing pets versus wild animals; [crating]
[creating] too broad [of] a feeding ban"
Page 44, Line 14 (McGehee)
read: "rigid and objectionable hunting program for Roseville when surrounding [communities]
Approve August 17, 2015 Regular Meeting Minutes
Etten seconded, approval of August 17, 2015 Meeting Minutes.
Page 24, Line 8 (McGehee and Roe)
Mayor Roe had
suggested striking the "fifteen" years to achieve all full-time firefighters,
but after discussion, the consensus was to leave the sentence as originally
drafted and including that time period.
Approve August 24, 2015 Regular Meeting Minutes
McGehee moved, Etten
seconded, approval of August 24, 2015 Meeting Minutes as amended.
Page 15, Line 19 (McGehee)
Correct to read: "and reacted
to issues impacting neighborhoods [, not driven socially.] [and
was not a socially driven action.]"
Page 30, Line 42 (Willmus)
Correct to read: "Mr. Wall of
the actual easements [for the] [of] record,"
Approve Consent Agenda
There were no
additional changes to the Consent Agenda than those previously noted. At the
request of Mayor Roe, City Manager Patrick Trudgeon briefly reviewed those
items being considered under the Consent Agenda; and as detailed in specific
Requests for Council Action (RCA) and related attachments, dated September 14, 2015.
Etten moved, Willmus
seconded, approval of the following claims and payments as presented and
88698 - 78921
Approve 2015 New and Renewal Business and Other Licenses
Etten moved, Willmus
seconded, approval of business and other licenses and permits for terms as
Approve Roseville Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics
Team (SWAT) Joint Powers Agreement Renewal
Etten moved, Willmus
seconded, approved renewal of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Joint
Powers Agreement (Attachment A) with the Cities of St. Anthony and No. St.
Paul, the University of Minnesota Police, and the Metropolitan Council for the
Metro Transit Police Department.
Receive Donation of Police K9 Agility Training Equipment
Etten moved, Willmus
seconded, approval to accept the donation form the Roseville Police Foundation
of equipment for K9 Unit Training at an estimated value of $12,000.
f. Approve a Permanent Cash Transfer from the City's Stormwater Fund
to the Water Fund
Etten moved, Willmus
seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11251 (Attachment A) entitled, "Resolution
Authorizing the Permanent Transfer of Funds from the Stormwater Fund to the Water
g. Approve 204 North McCarrons Boulevard West Request for a License
for Multi-family Rental Dwelling with Five or More Units
Etten moved, Willmus
seconded, approval of the multi-family rental dwelling license to Seidel
Properties at 204 North McCarrons Boulevard West for the license period of July
1, 2015 through June 30, 2018.
Adopt Revised Financial Policies
Mayor Roe asked
staff to make sure fund names are consistent throughout other documentation
(e.g. Park Fund and Facility Fund) as revised by recommendation of the Finance
Etten moved, Willmus
seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11252 (Attachment A) entitled, "Resolution
Amending the Financial Policies for the City of Roseville."
Consider Approving IT Shared Service Agreement with the Vadnais
Lake Area Water Management Organization
Etten moved, Willmus
seconded, approval of a Shared Services Agreement (Attachment A) with the
Vadnais Lake Area Watershed Management Organization for the purposes of
providing IT support services.
Consider Items Removed from Consent
Approve Neighborhood Organized Trash Collection Guide
At the request
of Mayor Roe, City Manager Patrick Trudgeon briefly reviewed this item as
detailed in the RCA and related attachments, dated September 14, 2015. City
Manager Trudgeon stated clearly that the City would not be doing the research
described in the guide but had simply facilitated putting together a resource
for residents use to if they were interested in pursuing organized trash collection
in their own neighborhoods.
Laliberte referenced various areas of the document that referenced 20 gallon
carts being available; however, she noted that no currently licensed haulers in
Roseville offered that size. Councilmember Laliberte further noted references
to other sized carts throughout the document and asked that it be reviewed for
consistency before moving forward.
moved, Willmus seconded, adoption of the Neighborhood Organized Trash
Collection Guide (Attachment A), directing staff to post the document on the
City website; as amended for consistency in container sizes and
eliminating references to 20 gallon carts that are not offered by any carriers
within the City.
to post this information on the City's website, Councilmember McGehee opined
that she remained in disagreement with the City Council majority and believed
that that organized hauling would reduce costs to residents and reduce truck
traffic on city streets.
General Ordinances for Adoption
Joint Meeting with the Police Civil Service Commission
Henquinet and Zoe Jenkins were present; and Commissioner Henquinet expressed
Chair Brad VandeVegt regrets in being unable to attend due to work commitments.
Henquinet reviewed activities of the Commission since last meeting with the
City Council, including review of the previously 2013 certified sergeant's
examination approved for use again in 2015. At a later meeting, Commissioner
Henquinet advised that the Commission had certified the list of candidates for
the vacant Sergeant position, as well as reviewing the new officer hiring process,
including replacement of the old written test with a new video testing program.
Commissioner Henquinet advised that the intent was for the Police Department to
use the video testing for several rounds of hiring and then evaluate its
effectiveness in obtaining qualified candidates. Following testing,
Commissioner Henquinet noted the Commission took part in certifying officers
for that vacant position.
Henquinet noted that Police Chief Mathwig always invited Commissioners to sit
in on the interview process for new officers, and with over 80 candidates
interviewed by two interview panels of three officers each and over a three day
period, she had sat in on an afternoon of interviews to observe the process,
finding it very interesting and informative. Commissioner Henquinet noted her
favorable impressions with the interview process followed by the Police Department
in providing individual feedback to officer candidates not making the second
interview cut, and addressing their interview performance and suggestions on
how the intent of the interview questions were specifically related to job performance
as an officer, seeking to make those candidates better officers. For the
benefit of the public and City Council, Commissioner Henquinet opined that this
added a touch of class to the Roseville Police Department interviewing process
that should make the community proud.
Henquinet encouraged Councilmembers and members of the public to attend future
swearing in ceremonies for officers as a way to welcome them to Roseville and the
Police Department family. Commissioner Henquinet expressed appreciation for
the number of City department employees and officers attended those events,
whether on duty or not, and the importance of meeting the officers as well as socializing
with their proud family members.
the request of Mayor Roe, Commissioner Henquinet advised that the Commission
was not aware of anything on the horizon at this time, or of any problem areas
until new situations arise.
the request of Councilmember McGehee, Commissioner Henquinet and Chief Mathwig
clarified the video testing process as providing real life experiences, with
candidates offering their response based on multiple choices on how they would
address that particular situation.
Roe thanked Commissioners Henquinet and Jenkins for work, the update, and their
Roseville Alzheimer's and Dementia Community Action Team Update
Alzheimer's and Dementia Community Action Team (ACT) members Warren Wolf,
Roseville resident and Julie Pfab Director of Home and Community-based
Services and Community Action Team with Lyngblomsten were present to provide an
update and report on activities of the team and upcoming community workshops
reported that approximately 100 attended the April 2015 Kick-Off event for the
Rsvl A/D consortium from which came additional educational events in May and
June on related subjects sponsored by Wilder Care Services and Lyngblomsten and
attended by an average of forty people.
Ms. Pfab noted
more opportunities for engagement would be hosted this fall including filmed
documentaries aimed at facilitating discussion and scheduled on Sunday
afternoons and/or Thursday evenings beginning September 20th and continuing
into November of 2015, along with additional offerings featuring experts in the
field. Additional information is available through the City's website at www.cityofroseville.com/dementiainfo
or by contacting Janelle Wampler at 651/604-3520 with all events free and open
to the public.
reported that the work to-date over the last two years in putting this in play
now served in looking ahead to additional events, and thanked City staff for
their support of and participation in those efforts. In particular, Mr. Wolf
thanked the City for providing use of the City Council Chambers for meetings
and workshops; and expressed the group's appreciation for the efforts of City
Manager Trudgeon, Roseville Police Department Community Relations Coordinator
Corey Yunke, Roseville Fire Department Battalion Chief of EMS Greg Peterson,
and Communications Manager Garry Bowman for setting up ACT pages on the City's
website, which was the envy of other ACT programs within the State of Minnesota
Mr. Wolf noted
the biggest effort to-date was the ACT project which would be coming to
fruition in December of 2015; and then serve to address what was needed going
forward to provide additional support in working with friends, family,
neighbors, churches, and the business community to help those with memory
issues lead a fulfilling life. Mr. Wolf summarized some possibilities for
future programs under consideration, including researchers at the University of
Minnesota, and encouraged citizens to provide additional resources as the group
solicited more ideas.
thanked the group for this update, their great work in Roseville and the
Willmus suggested staff capture the flyer image for use on Next Door and other
sources to spread the word, duly noted by City Manager Trudgeon.
McGehee reiterated the usefulness of the refrigerator packet information
available through the Fire Department and in partnership with the Police
Department for systems for locating of those with memory loss issues and
dementia. Such a system can help locate those who may wander, giving caregivers
more of a sense of security in their community.
personally thanked the group for their great work, noting he had directed three
people to the website within the last two weeks, opining it was a tremendous
Laliberte thanked all involved and the number of hours involved in putting this
together; and expressed her excitement about past work as well as what was
ahead, including the list of ideas offered to facilitate further discussion,
opining it made her very proud.
encouraged individual Councilmembers or the public to toss any ideas they come
across to the group for consideration.
offered to provide information on how caregivers can re-engage in life after
caregiving as a resource to offer based on personal family experience.
Trudgeon offered his personal thanks to the volunteer staff and their countless
hours in meetings and other activities, noting this was in addition to their
regular jobs, opining they were doing a great job.
Public Hearing to Consider Vacation of Easement for Cherrywood Pointe
Engineer Jesse Freihammer provided a graphic of current and proposed sanitary
sewer line realignment as detailed in the RCA dated September 14, 2015. Mr.
Freihammer noted that the neighborhood had been noticed by mail, along with
public notice in accordance with City policy, with no comments received by
Freihammer clarified that, as part of the proposed improvements for this project,
the developer would need to enter into a public improvement contract for relocation
of the sanitary sewer line and would bear the responsibility for those costs,
with no financial impact to the City as a result.
Roe opened the public hearing at approximately 6:59 p.m. for the purpose of considering
vacation of the sewer easement as noted.
Berry, 1059 Woodhill Drive
Berry expressed her trust that the City would deal with this sewer line relocation
without any problem. However, on a related note as a resident living directly
across from this development, Ms. Berry asked if the location of the main entrance
to this project site had yet been finalized, expressing her hope that it would
not be directly across from her home as she anticipated selling it in the near
not yet final, Mayor Roe responded by pointing out on the displayed map that
the intent was to line up the main entrance with Churchill Street just west of
Ms. Berry's property, with no cut directly across the street from her property
no one else appearing Mayor Roe closed the public hearing at approximately 7:03
the request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Freihammer clarified that tonight's action was to
vacate the existing easement, and the new easement was not being dedicated at
this point pending final plat approval.
Business Items (Action Items)
Approve/Deny Vacation of Easement for Cherrywood Pointe
Willmus seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11253 (Attachment A) entitled,
"Resolution Approving the Vacation of a Sewer Easement Located in the W ¼ of
the SW ¼ of Sec. 2, Twp. 29, Rng. 2."
b. Approve 2016 City Benefits Insurance Renewals and Cafeteria
Manager Eldona Bacon provided renewal information for City employee insurance
benefits as detailed in the RCA dated September 14, 2015. Ms. Bacon advised
that initially the City had anticipated a 10% increase in health insurance
premiums, subsequently coming in at 9%, and through negotiations ended up with
a 7.92% increase, happily less than anticipated, but more than had been
experienced over the last five years. Ms. Bacon reported that the average increase
in the pool was averaging 14% with a high of 22%, so expressed satisfaction
with this lower renewal rate. As noted in the RCA, Ms. Bacon reported that
with Affordable Care Act information computed, it created an overall increase
of 8.45% for health insurance coverage; with a 5% increase for the cafeteria
plan as anticipated in the City Manager recommended budget presentation, and a
3% increase in dental coverage with no plan design changes for either health or
substantial increase of 38% in the expiring 3-year contract for LTD and Life
Insurance, Ms. Bacon advised that staff had gone out on bid to the marketplace for
those coverages, resulting in Cigna returning a three-year contract with
premiums decreased for base life by 40% and long-term disability decreasing by
23%. Ms. Bacon noted there would be some slight plan design change for
long-term disability indicating a continued job return opportunity at three
years versus five years, but a change that had not been utilized by the City
during her fifteen year tenure. Ms. Bacon reported that the change to Cigna
should be seamless for employees, and allow a decrease in what the City pays,
resulting in a $53,300 total financial impact for the cafeteria plan and within
the City Manager's recommended budget for the 2016 calendar year.
sought clarification if the $53,300 represented a net cost after taking into
account the LTD and Life insurance savings.
responded that it did not since those came from two separate budget areas, and
the cafeteria/health insurance side with dental would result in the $53,300
cost with savings resulting in a different budgeted area; but resulting in net
numbers under the overall arching umbrella or broader picture.
At the request
of Councilmember Etten, Ms. Bacon reviewed how the City paid toward various
tiers of coverage for single, single plus one, and family coverage, with past
practice being to keep single coverage whole for those employees using that
that this information needed to be input in the HRIS system to facilitate
renewal options for employees, Councilmember Laliberte questioned if there was
sufficient time to allow a look at other communities for their information and
percentages of premiums paid by those municipalities.
Trudgeon reported that Ms. Bacon had researched that information and had it
available to disseminate to the City Council if they so desired it.
Laliberte reported that she had some comparison information to share as well.
At the request
of Mayor Roe, City Manager Trudgeon cautioned delaying action without a
compelling reason to do so would severely impact the crucial path in allowing
staff time for inputting the data into the HRIS system for renewals beginning
November 1st and wrapping up by the third week in November.
Mayor Roe asked
if changing the City's contribution impacted the quotes already received or
allotment between the city and/or employees if the program were changed at this
point, or if such an action could require the City to go back out for revised
responded that it won't impact premiums and programs, but would impact contract
negotiations if negotiating different patterns of payments, resulting in the
unions seeking additional concessions accordingly.
Laliberte advised that she didn't have her comparison information available at
tonight's meeting, and while understanding the impact on contract negotiation,
reiterated her often raised concern in how the City currently covers single
versus other tiers of coverage options.
At the request
of Mayor Roe, Councilmember Laliberte specifically addressed concerns in how
the City pays 100% of single coverage, which she was not seeing used in other
private, public and non-profit sectors, with everyone contributing some portion
of their premium versus single coverage being made whole by the City and
outside of the deductible options an employee could choose. Councilmember
Laliberte reiterated that her basic concern was in the City covering 100% of
just that coverage option.
Laliberte noted one other question she had was regarding the higher claims the
City was currently realizing, and while understanding the cost of catastrophic
claims and long-term care, suggested the City look into more screening
requirements as part of their wellness program that could be done at appropriate
times in an employee's life that could help avoid such catastrophic claims.
suggested that may be something for the employee wellness and benefit committee
to look at.
Trudgeon noted this could be part of a broader discussion, and offered to share
information with the City Council in addition to that from Councilmember
Laliberte. Based on staff's research, Mr. Trudgeon reported that most
comparisons they'd performed indicated 100% single coverage, but expressed
staff's willingness to consider all available information for that broader
opined that it made sense to have that broader discussion to ensure all
considerations had been covered going forward.
Etten seconded, approval of 2016 City employee benefits insurance renewals with
insurance carries, subject to review and approval by the City Attorney, and the
City's employer cafeteria contributions as detailed in the RCA dated September
McGehee thanked staff for their ongoing work and significant reductions beyond
what had already been accomplished in the past. In response to Councilmember
Laliberte's comments about screening reducing catastrophic illness and
subsequent claims, Councilmember McGehee noted the inability of screening to identify
some of those health issues.
Mayor Roe duly
noted that observation; however, he opined it was also reasonable to take
responsibility for screening that may catch health issues earlier which could
help to reduce treatment costs.
c. Consider Presumptive Penalty Approval - Wing Stop Alcohol
Rosand briefly summarized the process used and background of this first round
of alcohol compliance checks, similar to that used for tobacco compliance
checks; and as detailed in the RCA and attachments dated September 154, 2015.
Lt. Rosand then addressed the specifics of this particular compliance check
failure at Wing Stop Restaurant at 2100 Snelling Avenue N.
The owner of
the restaurant, Howard Bryant, was present.
At the request
of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Bryant advised that the restaurant had been open
1 year and 4 months.
At the request
of Councilmember Willmus, Mr. Bryant reported what steps had been taken since
this compliance failure and to ensure no recurrences. Mr. Bryant advised that
the clerk checking the identification was the restaurant's manager and he could
not speak to how she didn't catch it, causing him bewilderment and embarrassment;
and noting she had since been relieved of management duties. Mr. Bryant
advised that he had also retrained every person filling alcohol orders,
including management, with new procedures in place requiring two people to
check identifications before serving alcohol.
Willmus expressed his curiosity with other issues and conduct toward the
officer when speaking with the manager, and whether efforts had been taken to
address that type of conduct toward the City's police officers.
responded that absolutely action had been taken with their intent to seek a
great relationship with all public safety officers and the community. Mr.
Bryant reported that he had spoken with the referenced employee Antonio, and he
was currently under a final warning employee status at this point, and
currently attending anger management classes.
McGehee reported that she had spoken to Lt. Rosand earlier today to determine
how this worked in a case where the employee chose not to pay the fine, and how
to address that situation.
responded that the $250 fine for the employee had not been taken care of even
after asking for and receiving an extension on the due date for payment, after
which the employee had been informed that her preference to be charged was in
process with the City Attorney's office and would be her responsibility to take
care of and make restitution for this citation via a pending court date.
clarified that the requested action tonight was specific to the establishment
as liquor license holder; and advised that Mr. Bryant had already paid the $300
citation for the establishment; with the requested action being the final
action for this compliance failure.
Willmus seconded, authorized the Police Department to issue and administer the
presumptive penalty as set forth in City Code, Section 302.15, for off-sale
license holders with a first violation within thirty-six (36) months consisting
of a minimum penalty of a $1,000 fine and a one (1) day suspension on a date to
be determined at the discretion of the Police Chief.
discussion included ramifications of a second violation and the City Council's
discretion to administer a higher fine and up to a 30-day suspension if this
appears to be an ongoing problem going forward.
McGehee thanked Mr. Bryant for coming forward and for his actions taken to-date
and suggested impressing on all his employees that the individual server fines
were borne by those employees, not the owner.
Business Items - Presentations/Discussions
a. Discuss Housing & Redevelopment Authorities and Alternative
Development Director Paul Bilotta provided a broad overview of types of
entities via Power Point presentation, and as detailed in the RCA and attachments
dated September 14, 2015. Mr. Bilotta noted the key decisions points revolved
around the desired outcomes related to housing and/or economic development, and
elected versus appointed levy control; as well as the desired role of citizens.
provided a brief summary for each entity addressed: Housing & Redevelopment
Authorities (HRA), Economic Development Authorities (EDA), Port Authorities
(PA) or advisory commissions and reviewed statutes addressing the powers for
included potential pitfalls to the City's PA in taking on EDA powers that may
occur under certain circumstances; the process in dissolution of an HRA
according to state statute and transfer of assets to the City for capital or
permanent improvement funds or related debts for improvements to a new entity,
but not to the General Fund; and inability to dissolve an HRA if it had entered
into a contract with any federal government agency for a loan or grant for
urban development or low rent public housing project that remains in effect.
reported that initial research indicated the City had no such federal contracts
at this time, but if the City Council decided on dissolving the HRA, staff
would undertake more due diligence in performing further research. Mr.
Bilotta reviewed public hearing requirements per statute for HRA dissolution
and the subsequent paperwork process involved; with the City retaining all
rights of the HRA in addition to its assets and obligations.
Willmus asked the role of the Greater Minnesota Housing Corporation (GMHC)
regarding operations and how it was tied to the City's existing HRA.
advised that the GMHC saved the City significant time and effort in monitoring
and implementing housing programs for individuals from references to the loan
process and criteria; with the City's only relationship basically in making
sure there was enough money to support the program and to alter the program
standards as applicable.
If the City
should determine to dissolve the HRA, Councilmember Willmus asked if the GMHC
relationship could remain intact with the City moving forward.
advised that it could pending contract revisions; and noted he had spoken to
GMHC staff earlier today to assure them whatever decision the City Council made
tonight changed nothing about that current relationship and projects.
discussion included statutory requirements related to levy increases specific
to EDA's and PA's being subject to reverse referendums. Since both an EDA and
PA can have full HRA powers, they could levy an HRA levy on their own or they
could do EDA or PA levies, but those would come under any municipality levy
sought clarification if an HRA levy was applied under an EDA, it could only be
used for purposes under the HRA function statutory authority and would be
unable to take advantage of an HRA levy to fund EDA functions.
agreed with that summary, noting that if sorting out all three statutes, 90% of
the provisions would overlap, with redevelopment roles for the City of
Roseville across all three statutes, given the City's build out.
At the request
of Mayor Roe, Mr. Bilotta advised that the HRA levy does not count against City
levy limits if applicable. With both EDAs and PAs if there is a EDA/PA levy and
the City has levy limits, the EDA/PA levy would count towards the City's
statutory cap. For Roseville, there are no levy limits in place for the City at
Mayor Roe noted
a bizarre situation under PA with a mandatory PA levy along with a
noted this was a key factor for a PA, with the difference that the HRA comes
forward to the City Council with a levy seeking their blessing while the PA
states their levy amount with no option for the City Council to approve it or
not and in Roseville's case a moot point since it would essentially be
requesting it from itself.
At the request
of Councilmember Etten, Mr. Bilotta confirmed that the greatest flexibility and
influence in the City was in use of its PA. Mr. Bilotta offered further information
on the unique powers of PA's as addressed in attachment B to the RCA with the
City retaining its HRA powers by reference and ability to pick up EDA powers if
so desired; while the PA can do all three. Mr. Bilotta suggested the City may
wish to separate EDA powers to avoid any negation of its PA authority.
referenced economic development statutes for municipal development for
industrial projects and their qualifications seeming to be very broad and
all-encompassing beyond just industrial.
agreed, noting the significant activity in the St. Paul Port Authority with the
"port" portion of the name originating there, but actually creating a misnomer
for many in the public when no actual "port" was in place.
In her personal
review of the various statutes, Councilmember McGehee admitted she found a lot
of overlap and some confusion; but agreed with Councilmember Etten's
observation that the PA appeared to provide the most flexibility and power in
any area should the City Council decide on that entity; and expressing her confidence
in the City's Attorneys to address areas still unclear.
Willmus asked staff, in their research of other communities, how many used
multiple entities; and if the desire was to pursue economic development
avenues, was it necessary to retain an HRA or if it made sense to look at another
reported that many cities had multiple entities such as if they want to have
control of tax levy power remaining at the City Council level but want another
entity to be more advisory. Mr. Bilotta noted there was a lot of entity variety
among cities whether the HRA or EDA and City Council were the same or not. Mr.
Bilotta opined that the entity choice may sometimes depend on marketing
considerations for the desired focus- economic development or housing
activities - to avoid confusion for development community. Councilmember Willmus
asked if an HRA was the best tool to use if the desire was to increase economic
noted there were some definite efficiencies to be found in not using an outside
EDA or HRA board for economic development activities, given the quick movement
often required for development efforts and steps in the process that would be
delayed in having another entity to work through depending on their meeting
schedule. Mr. Bilotta noted this was especially evident when competing with
other communities for developments; and since the City's PA provided it with a
lot of powers, having two separate groups (e.g. HRA and EDA) playing in the
same arena may add to confusion in the market place during that competitive process.
Overall, Mr. Bilotta noted in those competitive situations, typically the
entity providing the quickest response and presentation to the public logically
was the winner.
Laliberte asked if staff observed any difference in cities having an EDA or HRA
when more developable land was available versus a mature developed community
like Roseville; or whether there was any difference in multiple of singular
responded that it depended on the primary focus desired: if jobs, business and
economic development, then an EDA made more sense. As an example, Mr. Bilotta
noted that the City of South St. Paul had an EDA for some time and focused on
jobs and redevelopment since the mid-1980's, but for the last six months had
begun reconfiguring their efforts back to the county and creating an EDA to
present a different face in the marketplace.
Mayor Roe asked
for more specifics and clarification on the housing activities of the South St.
advised that the City of South St. Paul had ten staff members for HRA and
building management functions, overlapping with the county's functions, and
they were now attempting to eliminate that overlap as much as possible.
McGehee asked how many other cities in Minnesota, outside the major Cities of
Minneapolis and St. Paul with real ports, had PA's.
clarified that when EDA statutes were created, PA's required special legislation,
and in the City of Roseville's case, it held PA powers even though not a port
city. However, Mr. Bilotta noted that the legislature began asking how and why
those powers were available and used, and suggested giving cities something
beyond PA, thus creating the EDA process, which could be handled locally like
an HRA versus PA requiring legislative action, but mirroring PA and picked up
McGehee encouraged her colleagues to keep in mind the consideration needing to
be clearly addressed regarding elected versus non-elected officials for bonding
and taxing authority.
strictly theoretical path, Mayor Roe questioned, depending on the ins and outs
of how it may occur, rather than using the existing HRA with a broader charge,
if it made more sense to keep the HRA specific to a certain amount of housing-related
efforts (e.g. rehabilitation of existing property, multi-family housing, and
GMHC programs) but not taking on other HRA powers reserved for PA. Also, Mayor
Roe wondered if changing the scope of the HRA should include that body's buy-in
or simply be recognized as a function of the City with the ability of the City
Council to change that role and purpose. If an HRA continued to exist, Mayor
Roe questioned if the balance of existing HRA funds allocated for economic
development efforts could transfer in part to a PA.
responded that the HRA would have statutory powers as it does now and noted
that the City Council could not take those away, but it could limit them
through a cooperative agreement and enforce that prior to the HRA's annual levy
request at which time the City Council was presented with their preliminary
budget and could set a levy within those specific housing activities; and if
that process was chosen going forward, could take the remainder of the HRA levy
under the City's PA levy as long as it wasn't maxed out.
City Attorney Gaughan suggested that may create some accounting nightmares; and
based on his recollection of the current Roseville HRA by-laws as amended, it
would require the HRA Board to control modification or amendment of those
by-laws further to move down that path. While that could occur, Mr. Gaughan
opined that it would get messy real quick.
Mayor Roe noted
the reason he asked about that possibility was to include it as part of this
If the HRA
dissolution process was chosen as the preferred path, Councilmember Etten
questioned if that didn't result in transferred HRA funds to a more restricted
account, and serve to restrict any remaining HRA funds from their current flexibility.
responded that it would restrict those funds for capital expenditures unless
the City Council took action to counter-balance General Fund levy dollars to
target those needs (e.g. money allocated toward the City's capital improvement program (CIP).
Etten questioned how much money was allocated toward multi-family and
single-family loan programs through the HRA and if a switch was made would it
work and allow continuing those programs.
opined that it could be made to work.
suggested the path would be to move that HRA balance into the CIP and transfer
CIP funds into the HRA Fund for EDA or PA purposes.
2002 HRA meeting minutes when the HRA was first created (provided as a bench
handout tonight and incorporated into the RCA and attachments), Councilmember Etten
noted his concern in the purpose for that creation based on the huge housing
stock needs then and now thirteen years later, those housing needs still
significant if not greater, both for new and old housing stock. Councilmember
Etten expressed his concern with the potential of losing that housing focus
moving forward; as well as losing the current housing and development expertise
and professionals serving the Roseville HRA. Rather than lose that expertise,
Councilmember Etten suggested new people may be needed for a commission
focusing on other needs such as economic development if that was the preference
of the City Council going forward. If the City Council chose to take on the
role itself, given the amount of time, research effort, and discussion spent by
the Roseville HRA on those issues, Councilmember Etten questioned if the City
Council could carve out sufficient time for those additional issues given the
current length of City Council meetings and agenda items. Councilmember Etten
opined that such a situation would require that the City Council give its staff
a considerable amount of leeway and not second-guess or micromanage those efforts.
Councilmember Etten expressed concern that the City Council may paint itself
into a corner unless it chose to abandon other priorities of the City Council;
and while moving toward a different type of entity, it may include many
possibilities, but also would be a challenge to make it work.
McGehee recognized the concerns expressed by Councilmember Etten, suggesting an
advisory commission role in order not to lose the background and experience of
current Roseville HRA members. Councilmember McGehee suggested two separate
economic development and housing advisory commissions charged accordingly and
given direction for specific projects the City Council wanted to achieve in
certain areas (e.g. Old Highway 8 Project) to oversee those efforts in a
reasonable fashion. Councilmember McGehee opined that a process similar to
that used for the Dale Street Project, with the Roseville HRA performing the
foundational work, with the contracts and legal work moving onto the City
Council to finish it up. Councilmember McGehee opined that such a process was
preferred to address legal work and avoid confusion in the market place with
developers. Councilmember McGehee further opined that developers would quickly
learn a clear path through the Community Development Department, and that it
would work better and provide more than adequate power for the City Council in
its PA, and would keep taxing, levy and bonding authority under elected
officials, while still allowing funding for other commission program needs.
observed a desire of his colleagues to look at a different model; and sought to
provide a clear direction for staff and Roseville HRA members from tonight's
discussion if the majority of Councilmembers think the existing model was no
longer achieving the goals of the City on the economic development focus aspect
Councilmember Position Statements
that the current HRA model has done a good job for the City and having no clear
preference on a model moving forward, Councilmember McGehee opined that another
model may allow the City to move forward more effectively.
Laliberte opined that it would be good to provide clear direction tonight on
the existing model. However, Councilmember Laliberte stated she was not sure
she was ready to state a specific model moving forward, even though seeing the
options available and recognizing the need for more focus on economic
development and cross-over with economic development and housing foci.
Councilmember Laliberte further opined that the current Roseville HRA model was
no longer able to or has not addressed that economic development focus up to
this point; and therefore she would be in favor of pursuing another option as a
model moving forward.
Etten stated he was not yet sure of which direction do move. If it was a
question of the levy, one reason staff asked for a shift. Councilmember Etten
asked if one option would be to leave the current Roseville HRA levy while
exercising HRA powers within the PA.
Trudgeon advised a response would get into a later discussion tonight on
preliminary levies for the City and Roseville HRA. Mr. Trudgeon advised that,
if the City Council went ahead with the HRA levy tonight, which needed to be
decided before September 15th, that was one thing. However, if the
City Council decided to dissolve the Roseville HRA and move in another direction,
he would need to research statutes to determine whether or not the City could
still access those funds. As options, if the City Council considered the Roseville
HRA levy tonight and wanted to preserve those funds, Mr. Trudgeon suggested
they could allocate the HRA levy in the General Fund, or have no HRA levy at
all. However, if the City Council chose to go in another direction, Mr.
Trudgeon advised that he could not guarantee they could still access those
funds without further research and guidance from state statutes.
noted that Councilmember Etten raised a very good point in the necessity of
recognizing that the Roseville HRA has a substantial cash reserve at this time,
and therefore could continue any operational expenses causing him no concern
with that aspect.
noted the easiest way to accomplish things would be if the Roseville HRA amended
their by-laws to continue on with their existing funds going toward CIP, with a
change in membership of the HRA to elected membership (e.g. the City Council).
questioned if such a transfer of the City's current HRA functions to City
Council membership allowed the City to use its PA, HRA or other authority
however it chose to do so.
agreed with that synopsis.
At the request
of Councilmember Willmus, City Manager Trudgeon clarified that the HRA was not
required to have seven members, only a minimum of five members; with Mr.
Bilotta noting that in many communities, the HRA was made up of only the City
stated that his initial thoughts before tonight's discussion and research
materials provided by staff in the RCA was that since the City Council already
had PA powers, it keep both the Roseville HRA as it exists and City PA powers
and simply shift focus around. However, after hearing the complexities of that
model, Mayor Roe questioned if that was such a good idea. Mayor Roe expressed
his desire to keep the housing expertise of the current Roseville HRA and somehow
incorporate it into the process; however, he admitted he didn't yet know what
that model would look like. Between the models of an EDA or PA, Mayor Roe
opined that he was not sure the City needed to move down the EDA road. However,
at this point, Mayor Roe stated that it made sense to transition from the HRA
model and have the City Council take it on as part of their PA powers. Mayor
Roe expressed uncertainty in incorporating the HRA levy into the General Fund
levy, since those special taxing levies differed between total market value
levy and taxable market levy calculations, creating an impact on taxpayers
versus how they were now presented in the financial picture. Regarding Councilmember
McGehee's comments on the success of the Dale Street Project and roles of
commissions, Mayor Roe clarified that the Charrette process involved numerous
consultants and staff beyond the Roseville HRA Board.
McGehee seconded directing staff to begin the process of dissolving the
Roseville Housing & Redevelopment Authority (RHRA) that would involve
statutory notice requirements to schedule a public hearing to initiate the
Mayor Roe noted
that the motion didn't address a process or steps involved to move the HRA
powers to the City Council and asked the makers of the motion if that was also
the intent of their motion.
At this point,
Councilmember Willmus clarified that his motion was intended to initiate
dissolution of the existing RHRA and transfer their funds into the City.
Councilmember Willmus stated that a subsequent discussion would be required to
determine how best to populate and whether to have an advisory panel. However,
Councilmember Willmus reiterated that his motion was intended as a first step
to provide direction to staff and inform the existing RHRA of the process, with
subsequent decisions requiring multiple steps throughout the process moving forward.
further concluded that this made a statement that the current RHRA was no
longer the means desired by the City Council going forward to address the
economic development and housing needs and foci of the City, but recognizing
that a preferred model had yet to be defined.
McGehee agreed that this was her understanding as well.
McGehee questioned if the motion in establishing a ten-day notice period for
dissolution of the RHRA provided sufficient opportunity for members of the RHRA
to formally take action and formally submit their resignations and other items
required in the process.
clarified that the dissolution process itself would take longer than the
immediate action through this motion, as well as allowing staff to perform sufficient
due diligence for the process. Mr. Bilotta advised that the RHRA was scheduled
to meet tomorrow night; and anticipated tonight's City Council discussion and
intended action would be addressed in their discussions allowing that feedback
to subsequently return to the City Council. If the RHRA chose to move down the
by-law amendment route on their own, Mr. Bilotta noted the need for staff to
perform much more substantial due diligence as part of this process than would
be available by tomorrow night.
Willmus noted his consideration of the HRA model for a number of years when
serving on the RHRA as well as afterward, and his focus in broadening that HRA
function toward economic development needs. However, as time went on,
Councilmember Willmus noted the difficulty in accomplishing that focus with the
existing HRA model. Therefore, Councilmember Willmus opined that moving in a
different direction with a different model allowed the City to retain the
housing component while also accomplishing economic development efforts, and
provide more leeway to staff to market Roseville to the business community and
achieve redevelopment efforts. Councilmember Willmus opined that the City of
Roseville continued to be behind the curve in marketing Roseville compared with
other communities and their redevelopment efforts; thus causing his interest in
wanting to pursue this move.
Laliberte agreed with Councilmember Willmus' well-stated comments; and while
not having the experience of serving on the RHRA Board, since her tenure on the
City Council, she had wanted to accomplish more options that currently being
done. Councilmember Laliberte opined that considering another model provided a
number of opportunities to market the City and tell developers that the City
wanted living wage jobs with tools in place to act and react to make that
happen in Roseville versus in competing communities, creating her interest in
considering other models.
McGehee seconded the remarks of Councilmembers Willmus and Laliberte; stating
that she had been and continued to be a strong proponent of increasing the
City's tax base and living wage jobs. Councilmember McGehee opined that the
RHRA had done an excellent job, specifically with past housing efforts; and
sought to avoid any implication that this action in any way was reflective on
their work for the City, offering them her highest praise for their accomplishments.
Councilmember McGehee stated that this action simply provided the City Council
the authority to improve the City of Roseville's economic environment within
the metropolitan community by allowing the City to move more quickly with one
Etten recognized that this action may open more doors for the City of Roseville
and provide access for funds to accomplish some potentially major things, which
he hoped was the result. However, Councilmember Etten noted that in order to
play in that game, the City Council needed to be willing to put some skin in
the game, opining that the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area continued to sit for
decades for a reason, and required a firm commitment by the City Council. With
the acknowledgement that the motion will pass with a Council majority,
Councilmember Etten advised that he would oppose the motion.
Mayor Roe spoke
in support of the motion, and while not aware of his position when arriving at
tonight's meeting, after review he didn't see any way to make a future model
work cleanly without taking this step. As noted by Councilmember McGehee,
Mayor Roe recognized the great things done by the RHRA since their start,
opining that the City could not have accomplished what it had without the
expertise of individuals serving on the RHRA. Mayor Roe advised that the key
for him was not just in putting City money in the game as an incentive, but
also the authority to levy funds as a resource to more appropriately staff
economic development and marketing efforts for the City of Roseville. While
recognizing those efforts to-date by City Manager Trudgeon and Community
Development Director Bilotta, Mayor Roe noted the reality that they both
already had jobs that kept them pretty busy; and while the City currently had
staff to address the housing focus, there was no staff available to address the
economic development focus, which was what he was supportive of looking at
rather than tasking the RHRA as part of their role. Mayor Roe noted this
action would provide adequate resources for the City Council to allocate toward
those economic development efforts that it had been unable to fund up to this
point. Mayor Roe recognized that this affected those currently serving on the
RHRA; but reiterated that he could not say enough good things about their
expertise and accomplishments to-date for the City of Roseville.
Willmus, Laliberte, McGehee and Roe.
with this process, Mayor Roe noted that a key factor would be if the RHRA
decided on a by-law modification that could impact that future process. For
the benefit of the public given tonight's action, Mayor Roe advised that the
purpose of the public hearing would be to hear public testimony before final action
by the City Council.
Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at
approximately 8:23 p.m., and reconvened at approximately 8:32 p.m.
Adopt a Preliminary 2016 Tax Levy and Budget
Director Chris Miller briefly summarized the requested action of the City
Council as detailed in the RCA and draft resolutions dated September 14, 2015.
Mr. Miller noted that the City levy and budget information essentially
represented the same information provided in the City Manager recommended
budget presented in July of 2015.
Mayor Roe noted
that this action would set a preliminary City and RHRA levy for certification
to Ramsey County and subsequently made available to taxpayers showing the
impacts of each taxing authority's preliminary levy requests for 2016; with a
final levy set in December of 2015 for 2016 payable taxes.
Specific to the
City Preliminary levy as recommended, Councilmember Willmus stated that he had
no particular problem with it, but reserved his ability to look at it more
closely before year-end. Regarding the RHRA levy, in light of previous action,
Councilmember Willmus suggested setting a "zero dollar" preliminary levy (as
distinct from a flat levy) rather than the RHRA's requested levy.
earlier in tonight's discussion, City Manager Trudgeon advised that if the City
Council chose to adopt a certain dollar amount after taking their previous
formal action, he could not assure that the levy amount could be retained
moving forward and based on future decisions. If the City Council felt a need
to adopt a "zero dollar" preliminary RHRA levy, given their cash reserves, Mr.
Trudgeon stated that it would be appropriate. However, Mr. Trudgeon also noted
that under the transition from the RHRA to another model if extra dollars were
needed, there could be complications. Mr. Trudgeon stated the only other
option would be to make it part of the General Fund levy, but recognizing
potential complexities, he was not sure that created the clearest path either.
Willmus clarified that his rationale was based on knowing the RHRA's cash
position right now, opining that they would be hard-pressed to expend those
dollars that he estimated to be in the range of $2.5 million over the next year
with their current HRA functions.
Trudgeon concurred with that statement based on current RHRA reserves; and
agreed with the approximate funds of $2.5 million figure, pending some
McGehee agreed with the comments of Councilmember Willmus; opining that at this
point she had no problem with the 2016 proposed preliminary budget, while she
had several questions that were not significant for this evening's discussion.
Councilmember McGehee also spoke in support of a "zero dollar" preliminary RHRA
levy, similar to requests in previous years by the RHRA, as the cleanest way to
Etten asked if there was any advantage for a zero levy versus simply
Mayor Roe noted
the need to certify something for the RHRA levy to Ramsey County until it had
been officially dissolved.
Etten stated his support of the overall City Manager recommended budget and
levy increase in general, representing important investments in capital
improvements, and retaining a relatively low operating budget. Councilmember
Etten opined that by making these key investments in the CIP, it addressed important
recommendations made by the Finance Commission; and further expressed his
appreciation for the key investments in personnel that would occur as part of
Councilmember McGehee, Councilmember Laliberte noted that she had several
questions between now and the final budget and levy adoption in December,
particularly with carryover funds not yet expended which would be more refined
closer to yearend. Councilmember Laliberte noted that, while requested
additional personnel did not have a huge impact on the levy and operating
budget since some of the positions would be funded in [other] ways other than
with the General Fund, she still had concerns with the continued upward growth
of that operating budget. Councilmember Laliberte stated that she was fully
supportive of the CIP and asset needs to be financed and with whatever
preliminary levy was adopted tonight. However, Councilmember Laliberte stated
that she may be less supportive on the operating side as the process moves
along. Regarding the RHRA levy, Councilmember Laliberte agreed that the City
Council should take action to certify zero dollars to Ramsey County to be clear
on what was being done. Councilmember Laliberte noted that the RHRA clearly
had sufficient funds from property sales and other resources regenerating from
past expenditures to support their function going forward.
Mayor Roe asked
if there was a mechanism to certify an HRA levy midyear to Ramsey County or if
it would be necessary to wait until the following tax year.
Trudgeon advised that the course would be to wait; with the options of an
internal loan and return of levy dollars after the fact.
Mayor Roe noted
the availability of reserve funds as an option, in addition to the PA levy as
well that may or may not get added to the City levy -depending on further
research and analysis. Mayor Roe noted the need to clearly explain those
funding options going forward with a new model for public information and
In the initial
creation of the RHRA, Councilmember Willmus noted that it was created midyear
and had been initially funded through an interfund loan.
Miller advised that he wasn't sure with the distinction in this situation, with
PA levies and the powers of the City Council, and would need to further
research that issues.
Mayor Roe thus
noted the need for the advice of legal counsel to assist staff in making those
determinations and subsequent recommendations to the City Council moving
Etten moved, McGehee
seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11254 (Attachment A) entitled, "Resolution
Submitting the Preliminary Property Tax Levy on Real Estate to the Ramsey
County Auditor for the Fiscal Year of 2016;" representing a preliminary city
tax levy of $18,944.720.
Laliberte seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11255 (Attachment B) entitled, "Resolution Directing the County Auditor to Adjust the Approved Tax Levy for
2016 Bonded Debt;" reducing the amount by $302,309.33 to a certified debt levy
McGehee moved, Etten
seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11256 (Attachment C) entitled, "Resolution
Adopting the Preliminary 2016 Annual Budget for the City of Roseville in the
amount of $52,447,620, of which $29,080,490 is designated for property
appreciating how it was being put forth, Councilmember Laliberte stated that
she would vote against this motion pending changes she wanted to yet put forth.
Willmus, Etten, McGehee and Roe.
the 2016 Preliminary HRA Tax Levy
Willmus moved, McGehee
seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11257 (Attachment A) entitled, "A
Resolution Submitting the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, in and for the
City of Roseville, Special Property Tax Levy on Real Estate to the Ramsey
County Auditor for the Fiscal year of 2016;" amended to put forth a "zero
dollar" preliminary RHRA levy for year 2016.
City Manager Future Agenda Review
Trudgeon advised that he would not be available for the August 28, 2015 City
Council meeting; and noted that most of the items on the agenda at this time revolved
around Community Development Department items.
At the request
of Mayor Roe, Councilmember Etten advised that he was still unable to confirm
if he would be available for the September 21, 2015 for discussion of the
priority policy planning document as previously scheduled.
ensued regarding the option of starting the meeting earlier to accommodate
schedules; and after further consideration and scheduling issues, Councilmember
Laliberte suggested that given that the document to be discussed included many
economic development and housing priorities, it may be prudent to push that
discussion off until answers on the model going forward beyond the RHRA was
known, with a goal of establishing a 2016 strategic plan.
While Mayor Roe
was supportive of pushing the document out, he also noted that part of the
initial discussion needed to determine if everyone was on the same page and had
the same understanding moving forward with the priority policy planning
objection, Mayor Roe directed staff to retain the 6:00 p.m. start tune for the
September 21, 2015 meeting, and agenda items as noted to-date, retaining the
planning document discussion at the end of that agenda for potential initial
discussions whether or not Councilmember Etten's schedule allowed him to
At the request
of City Manager Trudgeon, the City Council agreed that the previous RCA
prepared by him would suffice for this initial discussion.
Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings
As she had
previously brought to the attention of City Manager Trudgeon, Councilmember McGehee
stated her desire to provide the public with the results from the budget process
postcards submitted, and incorporating that information in the next or a
subsequent City News newsletter recognizing the good response and
providing a follow-up for residents.
Mayor Roe questioned
the intent or focus of the follow-up, and whether it included staff's grouping
of citizen responses or tallying information.
McGehee responded that her suggestion would be to group citizen thoughts and
responses, but essentially provide feedback to those citizens having taken time
ensued regarding format for an article based on the intent and desired information
to portray as feedback; timing of newsletter issues; protecting the privacy of
citizens candidly responding; value added in such a follow-up process; staff
time and objectivity in assigning categories for responses.
McGehee opined that the City owed residents some follow-up, without indicating
any scientific survey results were represented.
Willmus opined that whether or not the results were clearly identified as being
unscientific, they would still be interpreted that way by the public.
Etten agreed with Councilmember Willmus' concerns in putting the data out
there; opining that if this was the intent the original questions should have
been asked and formatted differently. Councilmember Etten noted the variables
in public responses, with some ranking all items, and some only addressing one specific
item, with some comments having nothing to do with the budget at all.
Councilmember Etten opined that, to task staff with synthesizing that input
into any real or meaningful data was unrealistic causing staff to make a number
of judgment calls based on that limited and variable data.
Laliberte opined that she saw both sides of this, noting that having asked for
citizen feedback it would be good to provide a response and indicate how that
data informed the budget process, accomplishing a full circle of engagement.
However, Councilmember Laliberte noted that citizens had not been informed how
their information would be shared, and since all respondent answered
differently, it didn't provide a true representation for staff to group, making
her unsure how best to communication those results back to citizens.
Mayor Roe noted
City Council action at their August of 2015 meeting to make those postcard
responses a part of the official budget public hearing by their attachment to
the meeting minutes of record. From his personal perspective, Mayor Roe
advised that when email addresses were made available by citizens responding,
he had sent a personal generic thank you informing citizens that their comments
would be taken into consideration as part of the budget process, thereby
acknowledging their participation. Mayor Roe agreed with concerns expressed
about staff attempting to categorize responses, in addition to the time
required of them to do so, opining he was not convinced it provided worthwhile
direction to staff.
McGehee agreed that it would take staff time, and had initially considered
making first pass herself; and further agreed that the responses had never been
in any way intended to be scientific but only another way to gather information.
Councilmember McGehee opined that for those handicapped or shut-in residents in
the community who may be without any internet access to obtain this
information, it provided a way for them to participate in the process, and
since that was the group intended to be reached in this process, they also
needed follow-up that would be available in the newsletter since it was so
widely read. Councilmember McGehee suggested there only needed to be a simple
tally of the total number of responses received and listing a range of basic
topics would suffice.
Councilmember McGehee's intent, Mayor Roe opined it should be less of a task
for staff, and suggested the City's Communication staff could include such a
brief noted in an upcoming newsletter thanking residents for their responses
and simply in broad brush strokes indicating the number of cards received and
the variety of topics covered.
Trudgeon duly noted that staff direction; however, he advised that the deadline
for this next issue had already passed.
At the request
of Councilmember Laliberte, City Manager Trudgeon advised that several
neighborhood issues remained specific to the potential closure of Wheeler
Street and advised that he may have an update by October pending resolution of
Etten moved, Willmus
seconded, adjournment of the meeting at approximately 9:06 p.m.