Board of Aldermen Meeting Agendas & Minutes
Every effort is made to ensure that the Agendas and Minutes provided on this and subsequent pages is timely and correct; however, users should keep in mind that this information is provided only as a public convenience. In any case where legal reliance on information is required, the official records of the City of Ballwin should be consulted.
The Board of Aldermen meet on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the Board Room of the Ballwin Government Center, 1 Government Ctr. Schedule and place subject to change. Meetings are open to the public. All citizens are urged to attend.
Board of Aldermen Meeting
Meeting AgendaCity of Ballwin Board of Aldermen Meeting Agenda and Briefs
Agendas and Briefs are available before a meeting takes place.
Minutes of a meeting are reviewed at the following meeting and are available after approval by the Aldermen.
MINUTES OF THE NOVEMBER 27, 2006 BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
City of Ballwin
300 Park Drive
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Young at 7:04 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the November 13, 2006 Operating Budget Work Session and Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. Alderman Pogue amended the Operating Budget Work Session Minutes to state the amount that was saved per slab by doing the slabs in-house compared to contracting this work out. Alderman Suozzi clarified Lynn Goetz’s statement in Citizen Comments to be 2 year aldermanic terms. A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to approve the Minutes as amended. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Mayor Young expressed sympathy to Else Barth due to the fire that destroyed the Seventh Inn Restaurant this past week. She has been a resident and business owner for 36 years.
BILL # 3459 - AN ORDINANCE GRANTING A SPECIAL USE EXCEPTION TO JAKOB ENTERPRISES, INC. FOR A RESTAURANT WITH CARRYOUT (NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES OR LIVE ENTERTAINMENT).
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a first reading of Bill No. 3459. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3459 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Pogue for a second reading of Bill No. 3459. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3459 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3459 with the following results:
Ayes – Suozzi, Lembke, Fleming, Buermann, Pogue, Kerlagon, Terbrock, Robinson. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3459 approved and it became Ordinance No. 06-67.
BILL # 3460 - AN ORDINANCE GRANTING A SPECIAL USE EXCEPTION TO JAMES R. BUZZANGA, DBA JB SERVICE CENTER, FOR RENTAL AND OUTDOOR STORAGE OF MOTOR VEHICLES.
City Administrator Kuntz said that he received a request from the petitioner that this item be held over until the December 11 Board meeting. There will be a related issue for discussion in closed session on that date.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to hold this bill for discussion at the December 11, 2006 meeting. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
BILL # 3461 - AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF AN INTERGOVERNMENTAL COOPERATION AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY OF BALLWIN AND THE TOWN & COUNTRY CROSSING TRANSPORTATION DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Pogue for a first reading of Bill No. 3461. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3461 was read for the first time.
Alderman Fleming stated that this will affect a small portion of one intersection in Ward 3. He said that he would expect Town & Country to try to limit related construction traffic in the Ballwin neighborhoods near this project.
Alderman Lembke asked if Ballwin is joining the TDD or simply giving authorization to include our portion in this. City Administrator Kuntz said that this would be joining by description and by the legal authority to expend TDD proceeds for the public improvement which is outside their corporate limits, hence the reason for the separate but parallel legislation. There is no liability to be incurred as a result of this because it is very narrowly described. He said that this has been done with City Attorney Lucchesi’s review and advisement. Mayor Young said that this is simply widening the right turn lanes 150 feet down on Henry.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Lembke for a second reading of Bill No. 3461. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3461 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3461 with the following results:
Ayes – Robinson, Kerlagon, Lembke, Pogue, Suozzi, Terbrock, Buermann, Fleming. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3461 approved and it became Ordinance No. 06-68.
BILL # 3462 - AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE CITY WITH THE CITY OF MANCHESTER RELATING TO THE PROVIDING OF POLICE DISPATCHING SERVICES AND TEMPORARY PRISONER HOLDOVER FACILITIES FOR THE CITY OF MANCHESTER.
A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a first reading of Bill No. 3462. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3462 was read for the first time.
Alderman Lembke asked if the right equipment is being used in our dispatching center to provide an excellent service for Manchester. Police Chief Biederman said that all of the equipment has been updated to state-of-the art.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Lembke for a second reading of Bill No. 3462. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3462 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3462 with the following results:
Ayes – Kerlagon, Suozzi, Pogue, Lembke, Terbrock, Fleming, Buermann, Robinson. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3462 approved and it became Ordinance No. 06-69.
CONSENT ITEMS: (Budgeted items which are low bid and do not exceed expenditure estimates and/or items which have been previously approved in concept.)
Southwest Corner of Kehrs Mill and Clarkson Road: Mayor Young said that he has received a letter from Clarkson Valley Mayor Scott Douglass regarding this intersection. City Administrator Kuntz said that at the last Board meeting, the discussion was relative to the boundary between Clarkson Valley and Ballwin, and if annexing the unincorporated pocket in this area should stay in the Ballwin plan. He said that this Board suggested that a straight line would be the most logical city limits line instead of going back and forth from Ballwin to Clarkson Valley. The Ballwin proposal makes this a straight line. He said that Alderman Suozzi suggested a boundary adjustment with Clarkson Valley relative to the southwest corner where the bank is located. He said that the bank property was to have been transferred to Clarkson Valley, the paperwork to accomplish this was never processed, but they prefer to have this property within their jurisdiction. Mayor Young said that the Board agreed that County should be notified that Ballwin prefers to have this piece of property in Ballwin. This has been done.
Alderman Suozzi said that through both the previous Comprehensive Plan and the one that is in progress now, we held firm for the residents of Clarkson Crossing and Williamsburg Green that Ballwin’s southeast corner of the Kehrs Mill/Clarkson intersection would remain residential. She said the trend is away from commercial at this intersection. The high school is on one corner, residential on the two eastern corners, and the fourth corner is a limited commercial use due to its size and physical configuration. She said that the school board, at the time that retail was proposed for the northeast corner 12 years ago, signed a petition against the rezoning of that property to commercial.
Mayor Young said there are two issues for consideration: 1) What does the Board want to do about the unincorporated pocket that has been commented on to the County. Should this be annexed into Ballwin? 2) What does the Board want to do about the southwest corner where the bank is located?
Alderman Suozzi asked if the middle line of Clarkson Road could be the boundary line. Mayor Young said that another letter could be sent to St. Louis County with this suggestion.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Lembke to suggest to St. Louis County that Ballwin desires to make the center of Clarkson Road the new boundary including the bank property. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
City Administrator Kuntz said that using the centerline of Clarkson Road as the boundary line, everything to the west will default to Clarkson Valley and everything to the east is Ballwin.
Alderman Fleming asked if a letter could be sent to the people in the affected area for their input which may not have been considered at this point. City Administrator Kuntz said that there has to be 100% agreement of private property owners for the annexations to happen.
AT&T and Charter Communications: Mayor Young said that AT&T and Charter Communications have joined together to present legislation to the State level on the video. He said that they want to eliminate many of the PEG (Public Education Government) channels and only leave 3. There are 7 or 8 at this time. This could affect school districts and government. He said that this could affect the revenues.
Closed Session: Mayor Young said that at the end of the Board meeting, he would like to discuss personnel in closed session.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Selection Process for City Attorney: City Administrator Kuntz said that the proposed ad is provided for Board approval. Mayor Young asked if a requirement should be that someone within the candidate’s law firm would serve as a backup. He said there are only a small number of law firms in St. Louis County that do municipal work. City Administrator Kuntz said that the ad states this and this could be asked in more detail in the interview. Alderman Kerlagon said that having a backup person is a good idea, but asked if it has to be with the same law firm. Alderman Robinson said that this would not have to be with the same firm, however, this could be more costly to bring someone up to speed on a matter that is in progress. A city attorney brings a team to the position that can handle a variety of matters. He believes that a backup from the same firm is less complicated. Alderman Buermann said that the content of the ad is acceptable and a timeline should be decided. Mayor Young suggested that the resumes should be received by mid January. City Administrator Kuntz suggested the deadline be on January 12, the Friday before the Board’s planning retreat, so this can be on the retreat agenda.
Alderman Lembke asked the Board if there any changes to the proposed ad. There were none.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Robinson to run the advertisement with a deadline of January 12 for resume submission. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Future Planning: City Administrator Kuntz said the Planning Retreat is tentatively scheduled for January 13, 2007, from 8:00 a.m. to noon, in the Board room. He suggested one of the topics for discussion could be the issue of contractual vs. internal in-house employment. He said mixed signals are being sent. When we do things internally, it reduces our dependence on contractual obligations. He said there are several successful municipalities that extensively contract for their municipal services. He said that manpower should be discussed. It was cost effective for in-house slab replacement. Future budget suggestions could be discussed and the public opinion survey. A draft agenda will be prepared with Board suggestions for discussion.
Alderman Pogue pointed out that this date coincides with the Martin Luther King weekend. The Planning Retreat date was changed to January 20, 2007, from 8:00 a.m. to noon, based on unanimous consensus.
Operating Budget: City Administrator Kuntz said that at the December 11 meeting a final draft of the operating and capital budgets for 2007 will be presented, as well as a consolidated budget summary. Legislation to formally adopt both budgets will also be presented. Alderman Buermann asked that the budget statement show the loss revenue for the City of Ballwin as a result of businesses that have closed. City Administrator Kuntz said that there is a downward trend in business license fees and sales tax revenues due to a declining retail corridor. He said that there will be a Chamber of Commerce meeting on December 7 in this Board room at 7:30 p.m. All commercial property owners and landlords that have properties along Manchester Road have been invited to meet and work with the Chamber of Commerce and the City to attempt to market and re-energize and re-vitalize the Manchester Road corridor into a more economic engine than it was prior to the growth of the competition. He said that Alderman Kerlagon and Assistant City Administrator Aiken will attend this meeting.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Term of Office: Alderman Robinson proposed changing the term of office for the Mayor from 4 years to 2 years. He said that 4-year terms cause more negative campaigning. The last two elections for Mayor were especially ugly. The aldermanic elections were not. He said when people are campaigning for a longer term, they put more money into the campaign. The Mayor is being paid $700 per month, which is $8,400 per year / $33,600 for four years. He said that prior to the 4-year terms, the campaigns were not as ugly.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Fleming to draft legislation to change the term of office for mayor from 4 years to 2 years.
Alderman Buermann said that one of the reasons the term was changed from 2 years to 4 years was to be consistent with surrounding communities and to attract more qualified candidates. He said that some may not feel it is worthwhile to run for a 2-year term.
Alderman Fleming said that this change would not affect the current Mayoral term. This would be a policy in moving forward. He said that under State law, the duties for the Mayor and Board of Aldermen are the same, and he suggested that the term should also be the same to maintain consistency.
Alderman Kerlagon said that perhaps some restrictions could be set out on what can be done in an election campaign to stop the ugliness. Alderman Robinson said that any restrictions on political speech during campaigns will not be upheld in court and will create liability for the city. He thinks the terms should not be longer than 2 years but not limited to only 2 years.
Alderman Lembke said that if we are trying to insure that we have the most experienced people running for Mayor, half of this Board is forever with a 2 or 4 year term and locked into a situation where a decision has to be made to either run for Mayor or run for Alderman. The other half of this Board has the luxury of every 2 or 4 years running for Mayor and either succeeding or not, knowing that they can keep their seat on the Board. He said that maybe a 3 year term should be considered. Mayor Young said that under State statutes, only 2 or 4 years are established.
Mayor Young said that perhaps the Board should consider becoming a charter city. Issues like terms of office could be done differently as a charter city.
A voice vote was taken to draft legislation for consideration to change the term of office for mayor from 4 years to 2 years. Ayes: Robinson, Lembke, Pogue, Suozzi, Terbrock, Fleming; Nays: Buermann and Kerlagon. The motion passed by a vote of 6-2.
Demolition of the structures at 14940 Manchester Road: Alderman Lembke asked if this was done by the city. City Administrator Kuntz said this was done by the owner.
Alderman Buermann suggested that the list of inactive businesses be discussed at the January 20 Planning Retreat.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Pogue to adjourn to closed session at the request of Mayor Young to discuss a personnel issue. A roll call vote was taken with the following results: Ayes: Buermann, Lembke, Pogue, Fleming, Suozzi, Robinson, Kerlagon, Terbrock. Nays: None. The motion passed to adjourn to closed session at 8:14 p.m.
The Board convened in closed session at 8:30 p.m.
Mayor Young presented the concept of contracting with St. Louis County for police services as a potential cost saving measure and requested Board direction. He stated that consolidating the present Ballwin Police Department and contracting with St. Louis County for police services could result in a reduction in personnel cost of approximately $1.2 million to $1.5 million. This estimate is based on previous years Police Department budgets. Also, St. Louis County would consider renting our current Police facility and Dispatching equipment. Ballwin’s current Dispatching would then become a backup facility for St. Louis County. This would result in approximately $500,000 in annual rental income. Mayor Young indicated that since this was an informal discussion with an unnamed member of the St. Louis County Police Department, no analysis had been conducted and no commitments had been made to any St. Louis County personnel.
Mayor Young also suggested that if the Board wanted to consider this, that a special Ballwin residents committee be formed to look into this issue. No aldermen or mayor would be part of the committee. The resident committee would have the task of collecting all of the data and then bringing to the Board their recommendations. At that time, the Board could either go forward with the recommendations or turn the proposal down. A spirited discussion followed and most members of the Board vocalized their opposition to this proposal.
Alderman Robinson voiced his opposition to the Mayor conducting any informal city business discussions on this issue or any other issues without the knowledge and approval of the Board of Aldermen. He said that this unauthorized approach could be incorrectly perceived as representing the interests of Ballwin and the Board of Aldermen.
Alderman Robinson said that this discussion was not actually a personnel matter at this point and should be conducted in open session. Alderman Lembke said the entire concept of doing away with our police force was not appropriate for any discussion. A debate ensued and it was subsequently decided, by motion and majority vote, to reconvene into open session with no official action being taken regarding the police service alternative.
Adjourn to Open Session: A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Lembke to adjourn the closed session. A roll call vote was taken with a unanimous result, and the closed session was adjourned at 8:52 p.m.
The Board reconvened in open session at 8:53 p.m. Subsequently, City Administrator Kuntz opened the doors to the Board meeting room.
Discussion continued on Mayor Young’s presentation of the concept of contracting with St. Louis County for police services.
Alderman Robinson stated that the Mayor's informal discussion on the topic of consolidating the Ballwin Police force and then contracting with St. Louis County for police services was irresponsible and undertaken without any notice to or approval by the Board of Aldermen. Any such discussions, whether informal or not, are improper and the Mayor is not and has never been authorized to discuss such a dramatic shift in City policy. Alderman Robinson indicated that he was against any effort to consolidate or disband the Ballwin Police Department.
Alderman Terbrock said that he was concerned about the effect this would have on our police department, that it was unbelievable the Mayor would think that his informal conversation with an unnamed member of the St. Louis County Police Department about consolidating the present Ballwin Police Department would not get back to members of the Ballwin Police Department, and that such a discussion would remain confidential. There are no secrets anywhere. Alderman Terbrock said that he was against any effort to disband the present Ballwin Police Department and contracting with St. Louis County for police services.
Alderman Pogue said that he cannot support eliminating our police force and give up response time to our residents. He feels that the additional support of our own police department is very important in addition to Metro West.
Alderman Fleming said that he wanted to make it clear that neither the Finance and Administration Committee nor the Board of Aldermen, nor the City staff ever asked Mayor Young to investigate out sourcing police services. The Finance and Administration Committee is looking at all reasonable alternatives to cut costs, but consolidating the Ballwin Police Department has never been and never will be discussed. Alderman Fleming said that he was against any effort to consolidating the present Ballwin Police Department and contracting with St. Louis County for police services.
Alderman Lembke said that the only cities who look to this extreme concept were those which are in such bad financial difficulty that they had no choice but to abandoned their own force, or that their police department was so dysfunctional that the only "fix" was to bring in an outside force, or, as in the case of a new city like Wildwood who begins by contacting for all services until they get established. We clearly are not in any of these situations and to move ahead with talks or consideration would have a negative impact on our entire staff, not just the police force.
Alderman Lembke also stated that if news got out to the police force or to the public that we, the Board, were considering consolidating the police force, there would be many unhappy constituents and it could be a nightmare to do damage control. Most aldermen expressed their adamant views in opposition to a change in police services for Ballwin.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Buermann to discontinue any further consideration of the contractual police service option. A roll call vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Adjourn: A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to adjourn the open session. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 9:37 p.m.
Walter S. Young, Mayor
Robert A. Kuntz, City Administrator