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City Council

City Council Meeting Minutes

Regular Meeting

March 1, 2010


1.         Roll Call

Mayor Klausing called to order the Roseville City Council special meeting at approximately 6:40 pm and welcomed everyone.


Mayor Klausing advised that there were only two items on tonight’s agenda: to adopt a resolution in support of a noise wall to be constructed on the north side of Highway 36; with the main purpose of the meeting to continue Strategic Planning discussion with various City Departments on goals and strategies.


(Voting and Seating Order for March: Roe; Pust; Ihlan; Johnson; and Klausing).  Mayor Klausing announced, for the record, that Councilmember Ihlan’s flight had been delayed and she would be unable to arrive for tonight’s meeting.  City Attorney Charles Bartholdi was also present.


2.         Approve Agenda

By consensus, the agenda was approved as presented.


3.         Public Comment

Mayor Klausing called for public comment by members of the audience on any non-agenda items. 


a.         Barb McClellan and John Duffy, representing Calibre Ridge Townhomes

Mr. Duffy reviewed the findings of Calibre Ridge supporting a noise wall in front of their complex, of no more than 12’ in height and no closer than 66’ to their buildings.  Mr. Duffy asked that Ramsey County make the appropriate changes to the wall in accordance; and asked that if any further changes were proposed, that the City and Calibre Ridge be advised of those plan. 


Ms. McClellan noted that it was also understood that the chain link fence would remain in place, even during construction and after completion of the wall to keep children from accessing the pond.


Mayor Klausing noted that the draft resolution included in tonight’s packet stated that the wall would be 10’ in height.


City Manager Malinen advised that, after further discussions, both Ramsey County and MnDOT were agreeable to the 12’ height.


Mayor Klausing noted that, since this was a special meeting, State Statute required that only those items noticed were suitable for action of the City Council; however, he noted that this did not require formal City Council action, and was only seeking support of an action taken at a previous meeting. Mayor Klausing indicated that the City Council supported the staff report, allowing staff to proceed accordingly.


Public Works Director Duane Schwartz advised that it was sufficient for the City Council to indicate their support at tonight’s meeting; and that a resolution would ultimately come before the City Council at their next regular meeting to be adopted and forwarded to MnDOT.  Mr. Schwartz noted that, in the meantime, plans would proceed and be forward for formal review to the various agencies.


Discussion included construction of the wall to tie into natural topography at the corner of Marion Street to prevent the noise from spilling around the wall and further impacting that last house; and attempts by staff to notify residents by phone regarding the revised noise wall height.


City Attorney Bartholdi left the meeting at this time: approximately 6:48 p.m.


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

          Mayor Klausing acknowledged and congratulated Roseville Girls Hockey League on their recent Class AA win at the State Hockey Tournament, and specific awards to individual players.


5.         Recognitions, Donations, Communications


6.         Approve Minutes


7.            Approve Consent Agenda


a.            Adopt a Resolution in Support of a Noise Wall to be constructed on the North Side of Highway 36

As referenced in item 3.a above, there was no formal action taken on this item at tonight’s meeting.


i.                Consider Items Removed from Consent


9.            General Ordinances for adoption


10.         Presentations


11.         Public Hearings


12.         Business Items (Action Items)


13.         Business Items – Presentations/Discussions


a.            Discuss Strategic Planning with the Administration, Fire and Police Departments

Mayor Klausing stated that the purpose of tonight’s special meeting was for Department heads to provide their comments to the City Council regarding goals and strategies for, as well as challenges specific to their department, in order to provide a better dialogue in preparation for the 2011 Budgeting for Outcomes (BFO) process and prioritizing tax-supported programs.


By way of introduction, City Manager Bill Malinen advised that each department had utilized the Action Steps categorized from the Imagine Roseville 2025 community visioning process and City Council-established priorities for its implementation, providing a status report based on three areas: those items done, those items ongoing and those not yet completed.  Mr. Malinen advised that further comparisons were referenced in the 160 priority items identified in the 2010 BFO listings; Capital Investment Plan (CIP); and also based on challenges specific to each department from the Department Heads’ perspectives to allow the City Council to have a broader understanding of day-to-day City operations.


1.            Administration Department

City Manager Malinen reviewed the Administration Department and those categories, noting that the most significant challenge for the department was that most of the action steps had relatively short timelines within a 1-3 year period, making it difficult to position them all for accomplishment in conjunction with Council identified priorities.


At the request of Councilmember Johnson, Mr. Malinen advised that the Finance Department was separate from the Administration Department and would be scheduled along with other departments at upcoming City Council meetings; and confirmed that City Council activities and budget was part of Administration, rather than Finance.


Councilmember Pust sought an explanation of what was included in citizen recognition programs at City Council meetings (Ongoing: 1.a.7.b).


          Mr. Malinen advised that this included specific recognition programs for individuals contributing to the community (i.e., retiring Advisory Commissioners) and others for their achievements on behalf of the community.


          Councilmember Pust asked, in the day-to-day management of the Administration Department, how Mr. Malinen used the Imagine Roseville 2025 as a planning document, if it was used; and if he performed regular evaluations of employees’ work against those items, or whether employees were performing the same job descriptions as before the Imagine Roseville 2025 process.


          Mr. Malinen advised that, through ongoing review of the items of the report, items were delegated among various departments; but it was found that some could use tweaking and had been reviewed again and brainstormed from a staff perspective.  From a management perspective, Mr. Malinen advised that the document was probably not used on a day-to-day basis for employee evaluations, but was inherent in staff’s thought processes in an informal manner.  Mr. Malinen advised that, as initiatives were brought forward, they were analyzed against the vision, goals and strategies, with action steps weighed against whether they were consistent with that vision.


          At the request of Councilmember Roe who questioned if everything on the list went through that vetting process at a staff level, and if the list presented was all-inclusive from staff’s perspective, Mr. Malinen responded affirmatively.


Councilmember Roe questioned if some items no longer needed to be included on the list, if they were not a priority on the list or for the City Council to avoid confusion and allow better focus; and whether they should be kept as an idea for the future when resources and budgets may be less tight.


Discussion ensued related to the origin of the Action Steps after the Imagine Roseville 2025 visioning process, with short, medium and long-range priorities established by the City Council, along with Steering Committee input.


At the request of Councilmember Johnson, Mr. Malinen confirmed the size of the Administration Department at 5.75 FTE’s: City Manager; Human Resources Director; Communications/Recycling Specialist: Communications Specialist: Administrative Assistant; and Office Assistant.


Mr. Malinen clarified the funding for the department, including tax-based funds from the General Fund; and approximately twenty percent (20%) funded through cable franchise fees for communication salaries, recycling fund revenues and grant funds.


Further discussion included historical reductions in staffing in the Administration Department over the last 15-20 years, including elimination of the Assistant City Manager (in approximately 2002) with Administrative staff and the City Manager compensating for that reduced staffing by absorbing those duties; advantages in improved productivity with reinstatement of that position, with the City Council support function requiring significant time; lack of resources available to effectively and efficiently handle increasing record management responsibilities; and anticipated increases as performance measurement applications are implemented.


Additional discussion included impacts of the 2010 budget that may have negatively impacted the department, with City Manager Malinen noting that, since the 2010 budget was basically a continuation of the 2009 budget, the department experienced a fair amount of cuts in the Human Resources area, with significant reductions or elimination of on-line training (for diversity, customer service, harassment) that had previously been a cost-effective way to provide training for participation by all employees.  City Manager Malinen reviewed metropolitan area and out-of-state training options for specific department employees, offering insight into the training he thought was most necessary to keep employees up-to-date with their jobs, based on required training, optional training, legislative mandates, and interaction with industry peers.  City Manager Malinen opined that, as the City’s most expensive resource was its employees, it was prudent to keep them up-to-date and knowledgeable, as well as providing them continuing education as an expression of appreciation for the work they performed on a daily basis.  City Manager Malinen advised that as training opportunities were presented, they would be presented to Councilmembers for their approval.


Councilmember Pust questioned what measurable outcomes were available for the department in terms of the BFO process; and whether there were items that could be identified for reduction that could be reallocated for training budgets.


Mr. Malinen advised that all departments had been tasked with identifying outputs and outcomes, as previously discussed, and while output could be measured, it was more challenging for his department as there were few of those types of specific activities (i.e., quantifying customer contact, while being unable to identify whether it was a positive or negative contact); industry standards for the recycling portion; and broader measures for overall management and support of other departments.


Councilmember Pust expressed interest in seeing performance measures from administrative staff related to managing staff, not interaction with residents (i.e., the number of grievances filed; compliance with Human Resource training and number of staff signed up for those training opportunities or difficulties in getting employees to sign up for training, and how they are presented and timelines for them); and whether  employee health insurance questions are answered and their needs met sufficiently – ways to evaluate how effectively administration is serving the staff that they manage.


Mr. Malinen advised that an employee survey was done several years ago to seek that type of input.


Councilmember Pust encouraged City Manager Malinen to brainstorm within the department to find ways to improve internal service to staff rather than concentrating on public input, similar to what a private versus public firm might do.


Councilmember Roe noted that the public could be informally surveyed at the “point of sale” to determine how easy the process was to understand, the friendliness of staff serving them and their overall satisfaction with their experience with City Hall.  Councilmember Roe noted that another measurement was staff longevity and turnover, and the need to invest in staff training.  Councilmember Roe advised that this was one of the tensions or conflicts in the community telling the City in the Imagine Roseville 2025 process to invest in staff development versus funds being unavailable to do so; and the need to identify development programs and how they impact satisfaction levels.


Councilmember Pust concurred, opining that if that was a big value in the Imagine Roseville 2025 process, was the money being spent on that of less value, to eliminate the inconformity with those goals; and the need to evaluate accomplishments (i.e., communicating diversity items in various newsletters and the website).


Mr. Malinen noted how the various components of the Imagine Roseville 2025 process were disseminated to the public through the City’s newsletter and on the website, including the annual report of accomplishments as they related to those visions.


Councilmember Roe noted another way to measure communication to residents of happenings in the City is polling those attending meetings on how they found out about the meeting, and how staff was communicating with residents.


City Manager Malinen suggested increasing the use of webinars for cost-effective training of staff; with Councilmember Roe clarifying that making those determinations was the focus of management not the City Council, with the City Council expressing concern about out-of-town travel.


Related to Strategy D in the “not yet” section (Item 2.D.3) for more active support of existing businesses, Councilmember Johnson noted that several new businesses had asked how they could become more engaged in the community, and sought City Manager Malinen’s vision for that item.


Discussion included opportunities with Rotary, Roseville Visitor’s Association (RVA); how to communicate those options to the business community; involvement in Chamber of Commerce networks, and the City’s history with various chambers and costs involved.


Councilmember Roe suggested receiving feedback from businesses and whether a Business Advisory Commission was needed for that feedback beyond random comments; cost of that involvement; and specific strategies for that focus.


Mayor Klausing suggested refocusing tonight’s discussion on prioritizing and how to fund those identified priorities, rather than attempting to implement new strategies or expanding staff expectations.


Councilmember Roe clarified that the attempt was to better understand what was being done and how it was being done, not suggesting more things to do, but how to measure performance and if those high priorities were not being met how to reassign resources from a lower priority area.


Councilmember Johnson advised that his intent was to understand the vision of the department, what was being accomplished and what wasn’t being accomplished, and how those items would be addressed on a BFO document.


City Manager Malinen noted that the vision needed to take into consideration the time and/or financial resources for accomplishment.


Mayor Klausing noted the constraints of continuing to do more with less, and the need to recognize staff’s recognition that the City couldn’t be top notch at everything at current funding levels and limited resources.  Mayor Klausing asked Mr. Malinen if there was some part of administration that would be a lower priority to make sure effective prioritization was happening, and those functions that could at the bottom of the priority list.


City Manager Malinen advised that with attempts to increase communication with the public or media or staff, it was difficult to reduce that priority; and other functions (i.e., elections and records management) were mandatory or statutory and that few areas remained that could be reduced and/or eliminated.


Mayor Klausing asked that Mr. Malinen and Department Heads consider this question as the BFO process continued, where staff could define lower priority items, and where they felt the most negative impacts.


Councilmember Roe noted that this exercise provided a good opportunity to determine how to do things differently particularly in tough budget times; how to define where duplication was occurring in other departments that could free up resources (i.e., communication); and if there were items that no longer made sense from the visions, that they be removed from the list or added on if an idea from staff and/or the community needed to be incorporated.


City Manager Malinen noted that all Advisory Commissioners were being tasked with review of the Imagine Roseville 2025 document at their upcoming meetings.


2.            Fire Department

Acting Fire Chief Tim O’Neill; Fire Marshal John Loftus; and Shift Commander David Brosnahan were present to represent the Fire Department.

Acting Chief O’Neill advised that in the department’s review of the Imagine Roseville 2025 document, and during this transition phase in the department, they had incorporated a new version of the department’s Strategic Plan, a DRAFT of which was provided to Councilmembers at tonight’s meeting as a bench handout.  Acting Chief O’Neill advised that this would provide an opportunity for City Council feedback as to whether the department was near target, and with the document scheduled for finalization during the summer, would be available to tie into the BFO process for the 2011 budget cycle.


Related to Strategy 5.A.1.l (in process category), Councilmember Pust sought a context for pay benefits for part-time firefighters.


Acting Chief O’Neill advised that the department currently had seven full-time staff, and 58 part-time firefighters, with great strides having been made over the last few years in making the part-time pay rates more competitive with other area departments ($13.32/hour); and changes in the structure to have training and most duties assigned during scheduled hours to avoid additional time commitments and other work disruptions for those part-time firefighters.


Councilmember Johnson clarified that the department employees were no longer volunteers, but part-time staff, since they were paid a wage.


Discussion included distinctions for on-call versus volunteer status; permanent scheduled shifts for part-time firefighters, with the exception of major emergency situations; relief association benefits for part-time firefighters, but no other part-time benefits, which is an item under discussion for future consideration to follow the same part-time benefit model of other part-time City employees, but not under current budget constraints; and inclusion of the Imagine Roseville 2025 document in developing the Strategic Plan.


Acting Chief O’Neill reviewed various categories of the DRAFT Strategic Plan as the department’s leadership team worked on its strengths and weaknesses earlier this year; proposed improvement and efficiencies in staffing and training programs; fire station building facilities, previous facility studies; ongoing issues of the existing stations, and locations of those stations in consideration of the model now being operated for department staffing.  Acting Chief O’Neill noted the need to consider current, as well as future long-term needs.


Acting Chief O’Neill sought future feedback from Councilmembers for the Plan and assured them that updates would be e-mailed to them as the document was revised and improved upon.


Mayor Klausing noted his difficulty in addressing the needs of the public as their elected official, such as quick response time; and his need to rely on the expertise of the department’s leadership in identifying areas in need of attention or lacking equipment or funds.


Discussion included the existing fire stations and their physical condition; deferred capital expenditures of $3 – 5 million over the last 5-10 years for building repair and/or maintenance that could be applied to construction of a new facility; and how or whether a one station model would work now and in the future, as well as how it would fit with the proposed staffing model.


Acting Chief O’Neill advised that the City’s current on-duty staffing handled approximately 96.6% of the regular calls, and could continue to be done through a one station model, for the 13 square mile community of Roseville.


Further discussion included considering service areas outside City boundaries by partnering with surrounding communities in the future for more cost efficiencies and response times; with such a shared services model, similar to that with the Lake Johanna Volunteer Fire Department, included as Goal #5 in the Strategic Plan.


Additional discussion included partnership perspectives from a department point as well as elected officials point, in defining who takes the lead and how the joint department could be structured.


Councilmembers as a body expressed interest in how this partnership could be developed, with Roseville taking the lead to see it come to fruition. 


Acting Chief O’Neill advised that a Council directive for consideration of joint services with other service areas or communities would be helpful; and that most Chiefs were in agreement that an organization could be implemented, with each party represented on a Board of Directors that would manage the day-to-day operations under a Joint Powers Agreement, and that there appeared to be fewer “turf” issues than anticipated, with the goal for more economy of scale for stations, equipment and infrastructure, with other cities facing similar issues to those faced by Roseville, as well as meeting training and mandated requirements of various agencies (i.e., OSHA); and other models available that have combined departments.


Further discussion included age demographics in the department now and in the future; reduced staffing through attrition; 13 firefighters in Roseville at retirement age or coming into it within the next three years, causing the City to lose significant experience; impacts in filling vacancies when residency requirements were eased several years ago; and ongoing turnover with the part-time position and other demands for time commitments.


Additional discussion included the increased calls when the department began to function as a First Responder EMS services; changes to the staffing model since 2007 and those anticipated in the future under Goal #2 of the Strategic Plan document; evaluation of the EMS program since its inception (Goal #6); inclusion of performance measures for the department to be implemented this year and incorporate into the BFO process while working with the same budget dollars as in 2008.


Councilmembers thanked the Department for their great service; and anticipated their return over the next 18 months as their evaluations were completed.


Acting Chief O’Neill encouraged feedback from individual Councilmembers on the Strategic Plan over the next few months to provide clear direction to the department; to formalize a committee to establish a timeline for a new fire station yet this year; and to bring those committee recommendations back to the City Council (Goal #1).


Councilmember Roe opined that it made sense, through all the analyses, to consider how a shared approach would fit with a new station, its location and the area to be served; and suggested that a Roseville approach, as well as a no boundary approach be used to avoid losing sight of any possibilities.


Councilmember Pust noted the favorable comments she was hearing from the public on the great leadership being provided during the transition time; and expressed her appreciation to the department’s leadership for their work.


Acting Chief O’Neill advised that the new format would be implemented for monthly and annual reports, and hoped that it was more useful to the City Council.


Mayor Klausing recessed the meeting at approximately 8:35 p.m. and reconvened at approximately 8:39 p.m.


3.            Police Department

Acting Police Chief Rick Mathwig, Lieutenant Lorne Rosand, and Police Services Manager Karen Rubey were present to represent the Police Department.


Acting Chief Mathwig reviewed the accomplishments of the department as highlighted in the agenda materials (i.e., translating literature into other languages; mentoring; seminars for various cultures within the community; and cooperative work with the Human Rights Commission); and noted additional documents in the packet, including a breakdown of capital improvements, as well as a document dated March 2010 and entitled, “Police Department Efforts – Above and Beyond” providing basic services (i.e., responding to calls, investigations and follow-ups, crime prevention, animal control); and how many of those additional efforts fit into the Imagine Roseville 2025 categories.


Discussion of impacts to the department with the 2010 budget included significant reductions in training to ensure better educated officers were responding to the many and diverse calls received by the Department; with Acting Chief Mathwig expressing hope that no further reductions were necessary to further negatively impact the quality of officers and their respective training to do their job effectively and efficiently.  Acting Chief Mathwig noted that much of the officer training was basic and periodically mandated by the State of Minnesota, but that other training provided for a higher quality department and significantly impacted the quality of work being done for the community.

Discussion included references to the “Dick” case in 1997/98 and how lack of training had significant impacts on that case not being prosecuted; safety implications to officers and others in reduced training; basic training for interviewing, crime scene processing and DNA, as well as further training in leadership skills for supervisors and for continuing education opportunities for officers in their careers to ensure they’re trained for real life experiences.


Further discussion included shift revisions for additional efficiencies, with more restructuring forthcoming to increase shifts to 12 hours in order to have more officers available and working during the higher crime periods, in addition to assigning a few officers to a high impact team to work with the Records Management team in determining high incident and repetitive crime areas for increased scrutiny and patrolling, modeled from a University of MN and City of Maplewood model.


Additional discussion included the number of officers that were bilingual;  other resources to meet the diverse languages in the community, including a “Language Line,” and resources in other departments and agencies through networking; recruitment of officers from other cultural communities to enhance language opportunities through the Reserves; and block captains and/or elders in those diverse cultural groups to provide a different perception of law enforcement that those cultures are used to experiencing, that officers were here to help, not to arrest.


Further discussion included the department’s rolling stock; current mileage; continuing industry standards for fleet turnover at 75,000 miles with no trends being found for higher mile vehicles; impacts to the department in losing funding for the Bike Patrol and Deputy Chief position; and how the department had repurposed positions to have a greater impact to crime upfront. 


Acting Chief Mathwig advised that he was not supportive of on-line reporting for minor crime; as that did nothing to enhance the public’s perception of their safety, nor did it serve the victim when any crime was perceived as major to them. 


Acting Chief Mathwig further advised that there was a movement across the nation to increase fees for false alarms, based on how time-consuming that area was in tying up officers for those false alarms, with over 90% of those intrusion alarms being false.  Acting Chief Mathwig advised that Lt. Rosand was currently looking into the specifics to recommend charging for any false alarms after the third one in a calendar year.


At the request of Mayor Klausing, Acting Chief Mathwig addressed other impacts to the department due to recent budget reductions, including loss of the 50th officer position as a traffic officer, with one of the most repetitive public concerns that of speeding; and replacement of equipment that is recycled from squad to squad over the years and their deterioration after continued use with their replacement currently funded through grants, awards and gifts for those approximately 90% equipment replacements.


Further discussion included previous service provided to Falcon Heights and Lauderdale, now being provided by St. Anthony; and cooperative efficiencies through shared services for emergency communication; SWAT services; shared narcotics officer with Ramsey County; and partnering with the City of New Brighton for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers; mutual aid in staffing community events; and other cooperative ventures.


Additional discussion included geographical aspects in patrolling the community and lack of barriers in patrol due to cooperation among departments.


Councilmember Roe questioned some of those items identified as discontinued due to insufficient funds and whether they needed to be included on the list anymore.


Acting Chief Mathwig advised that this exercise was a brainstorming effort, and if it was a necessary function, the department would provide that function; however, he noted that things, such as the liaison officer, was a very expensive option, and should be put on hold or discontinued, as it was not an option at this time.


Councilmember Johnson expressed appreciation for the monthly report; but opined he would like to see it publicized more.


Discussion ensued regarding previous discussions in 2008 related to a retail or fraud officer at Rosedale, with 90% of the calls to Rosedale related to theft (from vehicle, person or shoplifting); with comparison information with other malls unknown at this time.


Lt. Rosand provided his perspective of the disheartening youth issues experienced at the mall, and the need for a police presence to detract them.  Lt. Rosand clarified that most of the problems were not with local youth, but from outside the community arriving by public transportation, with a transit hub located adjacent to the AMC Theater at Rosedale Mall; with youth coming to the mall to hang out, getting bored, resulting in disorderly conduct and/or theft and unresponsive to mall security.

Further discussion included the City and Rosedale partnering to have a police presence there, while recognizing that due to cost constraints that it would need to be a partnership. 


Acting Chief Mathwig provided a history of previous discussions with mall owners and managers regarding a cost-sharing agreement (2008); and referenced arrangements other communities have with other malls, such as the City of Bloomington and the Mall of America with a percentage of sales used annually to fund a certain number of officers, based on the need.  Acting Chief Mathwig advised that he had reviewed various grant opportunities in the past as a funding resource, and noted that it was a political issue, since they considered themselves as substantial taxpayers already without further fees.


Councilmember Roe sought additional information as to the percentage of police resources being used to deal with those calls; and if their taxes were proportionate; or if there was a disproportionate percentage, there was a need to provide adequate protection to those shopping or using the mall.  Councilmember Roe clarified that he was requesting information on the percentage of the City’s resources, not just the percentage of the calls.


Acting Chief Mathwig clarified that he wanted to give credit to those anchor stores that have loss protection elements in place; and expressed their cooperative partnership with the department.


Councilmember Pust noted that, besides a financial cost, there was also a cost to the community, not just one of perception, but to ensure the safety at the mall as well as in the broader community.


Councilmembers were of a consensus that additional partnership opportunities with mall representatives be considered.


Acting Chief Mathwig advised that, in the late 1980’s to 1998, there was a retail crime unit working areas specific to Har Mar Mall and Rosedale, providing a police presence, but it had then been dismantled.  Acting Chief Mathwig advised that there would be an apparent increase in crimes if a police presence were reinstated, as many crimes went unreported at this time, with not more crime, just under-reporting.


14.         City Manager Future Agenda Review


15.         Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings


16.       Adjourn

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:30 pm.





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