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
City of Ballwin Board of Aldermen Meeting Agenda and Briefs
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
CITY OF BALLWIN
300 Park Drive
December 12, 2005
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Young at 7:02 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the November 14, 2005 Capital/Operating Budget work session, Town Hall and Board of Aldermen meetings were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
The Minutes of the November 28, 2005 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Buermann to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
Harry Belli, owner of Harry’s West Restaurant and Bar in Ballwin: Mr. Belli said he is representing the bar and restaurant owners in Ballwin. He asked the Board to give an extension for the commencement of the smoking ban until July 1, 2006. He said the reasons are to see what the surrounding municipalities, and the Missouri Legislature, which is going to meet on May 15, 2006 do regarding regulations. He said the Missouri Restaurant Association is working with them to stop smoking statewide. Restaurants have three sources of revenue: dining room, bar business, and private parties or banquets. Harry’s West is down 50% in the dining room and down $200,000 this year over last year because of the competition. He asked that the Board not take away the two of the sources of revenue that they have to compete with. He asked for the extension to July 1, 2006 to give them a chance to get some of the customers back to stay in business in Ballwin.
Brian Armstrong, third generation owner of the French Quarter: Mr. Armstrong said he has replaced Mike Probst, and he is also a non-smoker. He said he is losing customers to other communities. He said that neighboring communities have not adopted a smoking ban and St. Louis County has also decided not to proceed with this. He asked for waiver from this ban, including restaurants with separate bar/lounge areas. He said he is not against a county or state-wide smoking ban. He said to seclude Ballwin on this issue will kill his business. He said he will be out of business by April. If the Board cannot do this, he asked for a six-month extension to adjust and accommodate the smokers.
Alderman Gatton said that he saw Mr. Probst at the meeting at St. Louis County in which he argued that St. Louis County should not permit their smoking ban ordinance to be approved. He said a year was given by Ballwin to see if more communities would adopt a smoking ban. We worked with other communities and supplied them with information about our ordinance. He said we didn’t get any support at all from the French Quarter; in fact, there was opposition. He said that Mr. Armstrong’s predecessor fought against any more ordinances going into place.
Mr. Armstrong said that he is a non-smoker and is in favor of a smoking ban if it is everywhere. He said he was not arguing against the smoking ban with Mike Probst. He said an extension will allow time to get the customers to come back. A roof over the deck will accommodate the smokers outside. He said in the winter, the smokers will go somewhere else.
Alderman Lembke said that the reason for going out of business is because the competition down the street has remodeled and upgraded with a marketing plan. He said that the Board allowed one year before enactment because the restaurant and bar owners asked for this. He has communicated with other cities and tried to encourage St. Louis County to get a level playing field. The French Quarter didn’t stand with us on this. Instead, they standing across the line firing shots at us, trying to discredit the Board and to force us into reversing the decision.
Mr. Armstrong said that he personally did not do this. It was Mike Probst and he is no longer the owner. Alderman Lembke acknowledged this but noted that Mr. Armstrong bought the business knowing what was happening. Another six months is now being requested. He said that enough time has been given. The time to act was the day after this bill passed. He said he was not in favor of giving any consideration to delaying implementation of the smoking restriction. He said he is now sorry he allowed it.
Alderman Gatton said that there are businesses, like Acropolis, that have come into Ballwin in the same place where a previous restaurant vacated. He said the upcoming smoking ban is not the reason that Harry’s West is down $200,000. Else Barth, owner of The Seventh Inn, has said that the upcoming smoking ban is the reason her business is down 35% in the past year. Alderman Gatton said that he does not accept that argument. Mr. Belli said that he has talked to Chesterfield and Ellisville about supporting a smoking ban. He said that the Aldermen in Chesterfield said that they are not going to tell somebody that supports a $3 million revenue that they can’t allow smoking.
Randy Crisler, City of Arnold, Councilman-Ward 1: Mr. Crisler said for a 10-month period beginning November 2004 and ending August 2005, combined sales growth for the nine-restaurant group totaled -3.7%. Three restaurants have experienced significant decline from prior year with same period sales ranging between -10.2% to -18.2%. Two restaurants show moderate sales declines ranging from -3% to -5.3%. Four restaurants show growth ranging from +0.8% to +4.1%.
Butch Cooley, City of Arnold Councilman: Mr. Cooley said that, based on Arnold’s experience, the smoking ban will definitely make an impact on Ballwin. It has in the City of Arnold. He said it doesn’t just scare away the people who smoke, it scares away everybody. It divides the city. He said he is a smoker, and feels that a smoking ban takes a right away from him. You will not only be losing money from the smokers, but they won’t buy anything else in the City of Ballwin. In Arnold, the smokers are going south or north. The smokers have a place to smoke and there are restaurants for the non-smokers. He said the Board should really think about this.
Lloyd Sloan, 932 Edgerton Court, WGNU (AM 920) talk show host: He said that for the past few weeks, people have called in to comment on the Ballwin smoking ban. He complimented the Board for having the Citizen Comments at the top of the agenda instead of the end. He said that some cities make the residents wait until the end of the agenda to express their comments. He said he is a non-smoker. If second-hand smoke is a killer, why don’t insurance companies charge for second-hand smoke? It doesn’t show up in their statistics. He said even though smoke is an irritant, he thought smokers have the same rights as non-smokers in America. He doesn’t understand that if he is a smoker and wants to run a bar, and only let smokers in, why doesn’t he have that right in the United States and in the City of Ballwin? He said that Alderman Lembke makes a strong argument by saying “ You knew it when you bought it.” He said it cuts both ways. When you go into a bar, you know if there is smoke in their or not. He asked why that argument doesn’t cut to allow a free society and let people smoke if they want to. He said that Martin Nemoler was a protestant pastor in Germany who lived from 1892 – 1984. He said, “…. And they came for the socialists and the trade unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out; and they came for the Jews, and I was not a Jew, so I did not speak out; they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me.”
James Kilgore, 229-B Solon Drive: Mr. Kilgore said he doesn’t understand what gives anybody the right to tell a business owner what they can and cannot do in their own business. What is next? Non-smoking in personal homes in the City of Ballwin? He said we should be free to do what we want to do. It is not illegal to smoke. If someone is in a smoking facility, and they believe it harms them, they have the option to leave. He said he hopes the Board eliminates this whole policy. St. Louis County shut it down and the State of Missouri is not doing this. Ballwin is going to lose business.
BILL # 3388 - AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING AND ESTABLISHING A ZERO TAX RATE FOR REAL PROPERTY IN THE CITY OF BALLWIN FOR THE FISCAL PERIOD BEGINNING JANUARY 1, 2006 AND ENDING JUNE 30, 2006.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a first reading of Bill No. 3388. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3388 was read for the first time.
Alderman Gatton asked why this is for a 6-month period instead of 12 months. City Administrator Kuntz said that the reason is in the event that there is a decision to amend at some point or to go with a ballot initiative, any such initiative would be subsequent to this date but could be a question raised in 2006, and by establishing this rate, it might cause some confusion relative to that initiative. He said this is meant to keep the options open. In the event there is no further action taken, there will be another ordinance to extend the rate through the year.
Alderman Lembke said that from the perspective of a citizen, if we were to pass the ordinance through December 31, 2006, there could be an expectation that no action of any type will be taken on our part, and any discussion or any possible action would result in a negating of the 2006 tax situation. If it was decided to do something in April or November, it might confuse residents. The fact that the zero tax rate was extended through the end of 2006, in some people’s minds, we would be trying to do something irregular if we already had an ordinance in place that said there was no taxable rate for 2006, and then in 2006 we are attempting to pass an ordinance that would allow us to levy a tax rate in 2007. He said that some people are going to say they will not vote for that because there is already an ordinance that says you can’t do anything in 2006. They will use that as an excuse to vote no. This is a way to avoid possible misinformation being spread about a tax change in the City of Ballwin on real estate.
Alderman Buermann said he will not support this bill as it is written. He said that last year, as a Board, we did away with the 10% budgeted reserve, and if we can’t make a commitment to our citizens for a full year and have to go with six months, that’s something that this Board has never done. He said he will not support this bill through June 30. He said he will support it through December 31.
Mayor Young said that if a tax proposal is put on the ballot, it would state that it would be effective on January 1, 2007. The public notice would be done based on the fact that it would be effective in 2007. He said that December 31 is, therefore, better. Alderman Lembke said that if you’re running for re-election, it would sound better if you could say no tax all the way through to the end of the year rather than through June.
Alderman Robinson said that this changes the timing of the debate on this issue from the end of the year to mid-year. By doing this at the end of the year, it creates a situation that puts those running for re-election at the beginning of the coming year at a disadvantage. He said the discussion should take place in a more neutral time period at mid-year to allow for more open and frank discussion.
Alderman Lembke said that if this bill is passed as written, it will force us to take a look at this issue in mid-June before we ask the city staff and City Administrator to put together the budget for 2007.
Finance Officer Loehr said tax rates must be established by September 1 of each year for the following year. This is actually moot as far as the County is concerned. This would just be something that we would do to keep the window open for budget purposes. If it was set by September 1 and something was changed, it would go on the end of the year tax bill.
Alderman Fleming said he agrees with Alderman Buermann that we have not done it this way before. A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Buermann to change the fiscal period in this proposed bill to end December 31, 2006.
Alderman Terbrock said that if we extend this to the end of the year, and we need to try to put something on the ballot, will this limit us for putting it on the ballot for next November? City Attorney Lucchesi said that it’s going to mean that you cannot set a new rate until 2007, which means you have postponed a year of revenue, if you decide to do this. City Administrator Kuntz said that this is intended to raise the public awareness and to give the most flexibility because this would have to be done twice.
Alderman Gatton said that regardless when we do this, there’s not going to be a revenue impact for next year because the tax bills go out in November, are collected in December, and we wouldn’t see the money until 2007.
A voice vote was taken on the motion to amend Bill # 3388 to extend to December 31, 2006, with 6 Ayes and Aldermen Suozzi and Robinson voting Nay. The motion passed by a vote of 6-2 and Bill # 3388 will be amended to reflect December 31, 2006.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a second reading of Bill No. 3388 as amended. A voice vote was taken with 7 Ayes, and Alderman Robinson voting Nay. Mayor Young said Bill # 3388 will be held over to the January 9, 2006 Board of Aldermen meeting.
BILL # 3389 - AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN, MISSOURI, ON BEHALF OF THE CITY, TO EXECUTE AN AGREEMENT WITH THE MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, WITH RESPECT TO THE RECON-STRUCTION OF THAT PORTION OF CLAYTON ROAD (ROUTE HH) WITHIN THE CITY LIMITS.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a first reading of Bill No. 3389. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3389 was read for the first time.
Alderman Pogue asked if the business owners in the plaza at Kehrs Mill and Clayton Road will be able to have special signage. City Administrator Kuntz said that this agreement does not preclude local signage flexibility. The plan is still as it was presented. Once the contract is awarded, we will then have a time table. He said we want to be flexible, and staff will do everything possible, but they may still have to come to the Board for approval. To blanketly let them start with off-premise directional signs defeats the process.
Alderman Robinson said that in paragraph 21, Ballwin is indemnifying MoDOT and accepting responsibility for its wrongful or negligent acts or omissions. He said we should not do this. City Attorney Lucchesi said this section addresses personal injury property damage suffered as a result of the City’s performance, not MoDots. Mayor Young said that it states, the city assumes the obligation to save harmless the commission including the agents, employees and assigns to the extent allowed by law to indemnify the commission including the agents, employees and assigns. Every expense, liability and payment arising only out of such wrongful negligence act or omission of the city including legal fees. City Attorney Lucchesi said that there aren’t going to be any employees under the supervision of the city.
City Engineer Kramer said that this agreement is not only for the new construction, but also for anything in the future in the State right-of-way. City Attorney Lucchesi said that MoDOT is liable for what it does in its rights-of-way, which is its property. Alderman Robinson said that at the end of the last clause, as it is in the preceding clause, negligent act or omission committed by any sub-contractor or other person employed by the contractor while working in the city. This will be consistent with all of the other clauses. City Attorney Lucchesi said he will make the change.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Gatton that the Board accept the proposed contract, subject to the revisions of paragraph 21 relating to the indemnification clause. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Gatton for a second reading of Bill No. 3389, as amended. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3389 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3389 with the following results: Ayes –Gatton, Robinson, Pogue, Lembke, Terbrock, Fleming, Buermann, Suozzi. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3389 approved and it became Ordinance No. 05-55.
CONSENT ITEMS: (Budgeted items which are low bid and do not exceed expenditure estimates and/or items which have been previously approved in concept.)
Board of Adjustment Appointment: Mayor Young recommended the reappointment of Patrick Baehler to another 5-year term. A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Buermann to accept this appointment. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Historical Commission: Mayor Young recommended the appointment of Wayne Malon, Ward 3, #8 Sweetwood Court, to the Historical Commission for a 3-year term. He is very qualified and knowledgeable for this position. A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Buermann to appoint Wayne Malon to the Historical Commission for a 3-year term. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Mayor Young also stated that the 3-year terms of Fern Whitmire and Irene Wirsing are expiring at the end of this month. He recommended reappointment. A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Lembke to reappoint Fern Whitmire and Irene Wirsing to the Historical Commission for 3-year terms. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Mayor Young said that the Historical Commission consists of 5 people from Ward 1, 3 from Ward 2, 2 from Ward 3, and 0 from Ward 4. He said that there aren’t many people from Ward 4 that have expressed an interest in serving on this commission.
Mayor Young said his wife, Kathie Young, attends the Historical Commission meetings. She has represented the City at the Lafayette Older Adults annual Christmas program. She has attended a trustee meeting. He thanked her for this help since he cannot always attend every meeting.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Sales Tax on Cars: City Administrator Kuntz said in the early 1990s, the City of Ellisville successfully petitioned the state legislature to require that a portion of the sales tax on vehicles stays in the municipality where the sale is transacted. There is a large percentage of commercial land area in Ballwin that is tied up with motor vehicle sales. The Ellisville amendment was ¼ of 1% to stay within the community. He suggested urging the legislators to consider revisiting that formula to benefit cities like Ballwin, which have the impact of the test drives and other costs, as well as the loss of opportunity on retail, which is 1%. He asked if this is a direction that the Board would like to pursue.
Alderman Buermann asked if this could be more successful it this came from the Lafayette Mayors’ Organization? Mayor Young said that Ellisville is afraid to bring this up. They are afraid of losing the ¼%. He suggested being more pro-active. He said the city who has the car dealership has a great deal of expense. People don’t realize the amount that’s there. He said that the legislators that he has talked to didn’t seem to be negative about this. They understood the fact that this is an issue that needs to be readdressed. There is the cost of the police and other services that have to be absorbed by the city.
Alderman Robinson asked if anyone has done the math on this. City Administrator Kuntz said that the figures that we get are filtered through the collecting agencies. There is so much co-mingling that this is very time consuming. He said that the automobile dealers’ association may be endorsing such a proposal. If we could get more of a fair share, it would be in the city’s best interest.
Mayor Young said that he would like to go to Jefferson City and the Municipal League for backing. Alderman Lembke said that from a dealership standpoint, they don’t collect sales tax. Mayor Young said that there is a movement at this time for dealers to do what they do in Illinois. They collect the sales tax at the time of the sale. A lot of them put it into the loan. There has been discussion at the legislative level about doing this in Missouri. If a vehicle is leased, the city will get all of the tax.
City Administrator Kuntz said he would like to investigate the possibility of imposing a local sales tax on car rentals. This is already in effect in Kansas City, Missouri. This will take some legal research as to what our options are. He asked the Board if they want to pursue this.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Buermann to instruct the City Attorney, staff and City Administrator to begin investigating a vehicle sales tax.
Alderman Fleming asked how this will affect anybody already in business like Avis, Hertz, and U-Haul? City Administrator Kuntz said that it’s no different than if an additional ½ cent sales tax is established. They will have to change the registers. Alderman Lembke said it will also impact U-Haul. Alderman Gatton said the big impact would be on Enterprise Rent-A-Car, which operates several stations in the City of Ballwin. He said that Enterprise has fought this at every municipality that has considered it.
A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Future Finances: It was agreed by the Board that they would hold a finance work session on Saturday, January 28, 2006 from 8:00 a.m. – noon.
Credit Card Services: A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Lembke to accept the recommendation of staff to award the credit card services to UMB Bank. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Deaf Child At Play: A motion was made by Alderman Gatton and seconded by Alderman Robinson to expand the Child At Play policy per the recommendations. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
City Administrator Kuntz stated that the December 26 Board of Aldermen meeting has been cancelled. The next meeting will be January 9, 2006.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Adult Entertainment: City Attorney Lucchesi said this draft legislation is for Board review. The Chesterfield ordinance is also included for Board consideration. Alderman Terbrock suggested that City Attorney Lucchesi also review the City of Town & Country ordinance.
Alderman Lembke said that one of the major hardware stores in Ballwin is offering people the opportunity to avoid paying sales tax on major appliances and anything that is being installed by simply paying an installation fee. If you purchased a new built-in microwave, where they come in and take the microwave out and put a new one in, or they come in and install a dishwasher, they claim that they are exempt from charging the customer sales tax on the microwave or the installed appliance. You simply pay them a one-time $49.95 fee to have the appliances installed, and they do that on the basis that it is being installed and there is no sales tax that is generated. He asked that City Attorney Lucchesi look into this to determine if this is legal. He said he purchased 2 items and sales tax was not charged on his receipt.
Alderman Gatton said that if a contractor is purchasing something that is for resale, the contractor doesn’t have to pay sales tax, but it does have to be collected when the contractor sells the product. It seems that this is the theory that they are trying to use on this, except they are not collecting sales via the contractor. The purchaser is the end user in this case, not the contractor.
Alderman Lembke said that in his purchase, he paid the hardware store for the microwave and the dishwasher, and for the installation. Because he paid them $49.95 for the installation, he was told that he could have purchased 3 dishwashers and 4 microwaves all installed for the same $49.95, and that would allow him to not have to pay the sales tax on the microwaves or dishwashers. City Administrator Kuntz said that City Attorney Lucchesi will check into this.
PLANNING & ZONING COMMISSION
Alderman Buermann said that Tim Reisel has submitted his resignation from the Planning & Zoning Commission effective immediately. He said that he and Alderman Suozzi will search for another replacement from Ward 2.
Mayor Young said that the search for a replacement for Ed Montgomery is still in progress.
PLANNING & ZONING COMMISION TRAINING SESSION
Alderman Lembke suggested that a training session be scheduled for the Planning & Zoning Commission since there are several less experienced members on this commission. They should be instructed what they should be looking for when considering a proposal, what not to consider, etc., and how to go about this.
Alderman Robinson asked if compensation should be reconsidered for commission members. City Administrator Kuntz said that the only person who is compensated is the chairman. Alderman Suozzi said that the three members that left in the past 9 months did not leave because they were not getting paid.
Alderman Gatton suggested considering some of the members of the Steering Committee as possible future replacements on the Planning & Zoning Commission.
Alderman Terbrock asked if a review date has been set up to review the impact of the smoking ban? He said since some of the businesses are asking for an extension, they feel that there is going to be a negative revenue impact. He said it would be honorable for the Board to at least review the impact. We don’t want our businesses to leave or to handicap them any more than what has already been experienced due to the competition in Chesterfield.
Alderman Pogue said that any of the Board members can ask for a review at any time.
Alderman Robinson said that the Board spent a lot of time on this. To evaluate it would be difficult because there are so many factors involved in determining if a restaurant is successful or not. The problem throughout the process was getting unbiased data. Frick’s was a business that was in distress before the smoking ban was considered. Even by the owner’s admission, they were not even paying themselves. They were having difficulty keeping employees, and unable to make any renovations to the premises. They had declining sales even before this discussion began. O’Charley’s was another restaurant that was in distress for a long period of time before they closed. The smoking ban had not gone into effect when this happened. Alderman Suozzi said that the owner of Tony Morino’s said they lost business because they did not have a lunch business.
Alderman Terbrock said that if we take impartial numbers that our Finance Department can provide for evaluation, this would be beneficial. He said we owe it to the businesses to at least review the results. He said we should have a definite review date set to tell the businesses.
Alderman Lembke said that the data received from Arnold is that the number of police calls after the bars close has decreased significantly. Alderman Robinson said there is less activity at the restaurants and reduced city expenses because of reduced police resources that have been called to those locations. The trends before this time needs to be reviewed.
Alderman Terbrock asked is it so difficult to give the businesses a one-year review date? Alderman Robinson said that there was a one-year period immediately before the legislation was passed. Then there was a one-year period before the ban became enforceable. Upon the one-year anniversary, as Arnold has done, we will review it. There will then be three isolated one-year periods to compare. If the situation has rendered itself more critical at any time, based on data that is presented to the Board, then the Public Health & Safety Committee is ready to review this immediately. He said at this time, we haven’t gotten any data, or alarms based on the sales tax figures that we get, and revenue information, or the number of businesses opening or closing. Restaurants were closing at the same rate or even higher before we enacted the smoking legislation.
Alderman Terbrock said that if any alarms pop up we will look at the situation right away, but we should at least give them a definite date when this will be reviewed. Alderman Lembke suggested letting the law go into effect before over analyzing what’s going to happen.
Alderman Terbrock said that he did not want to get into a debate at this time. He said he wants to know if a specific date is on the record and that we owe the business owners the respect to tell them that we are going to look at this on this date. He said he doesn’t think it is too difficult to ask Finance Officer Loehr for numbers and ask Chief Biederman if he sees any difference in the activity.
Alderman Lembke said that an annual review would be good. He anticipated that this would be reviewed in one year. In January, 2007, we owe it to ourselves as well as to the businesses to take a look at this.
Alderman Terbrock asked if a review date should be put into the ordinance. City Attorney Lucchesi said that the current ordinance does not state that there will be any review. Alderman Fleming said that a specific date does not have to be set because it can be brought up for discussion at any time.
Alderman Terbrock said that he is trying to give the business owners a feeling of confidence that the Board is going to review the effects of the smoking ban on a definite date, with no excuses as to why this didn’t happen. Alderman Robinson said that as Chairman of the Public Health & Safety Committee, he is asking for data from the business that indicate disturbing trends be submitted to him and the committee can be reconvened to examine this issue. He said he is concerned about setting a definite deadline because if the trend starts slanting one way or the other before that deadline, we could be doing a disservice by waiting until the deadline.
Alderman Terbrock said that a definite date should be given to the business owners at this time. He said that Alderman Robinson is not wanting to state a definite date, but that his door is open all the time.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke to officially bring the smoking ban issue to the Board for discussion at the first meeting in January, 2007.
Mayor Young said that Alderman Pogue would like to speak before any further votes are taken. Alderman Lembke withdrew the motion.
Alderman Pogue asked when could Finance Officer Loehr provide the numbers for December of this year and the last seven months that would show the tax breakdown of liquor and food? He said we can’t set a review date until the numbers can be provided. Finance Officer Loehr said that business licenses are due April 1. That is when the data from the businesses is received for the preceding year. She said on April 1, 2006, we will receive the 2005 data. Sales tax reports are two months behind.
Alderman Terbrock said that this is the data that is needed for evaluation. He asked if this needs to be put into the ordinance, or can this just be stated at this meeting? City Attorney Lucchesi said that an evaluation date does not have to be put into the ordinance as long as the Board directs staff to do this. Alderman Suozzi said that nothing precludes businesses from sharing this date with the City prior to April 1. Alderman Terbrock said he hopes that they will, however, he wants the Board to give the businesses a definite date for this evaluation.
Mayor Young said that the first meeting in May will be the earliest possible date for evaluation. Alderman Terbrock said that he wants this date to be the evaluation date every year until we decide the ban to either be good or not good, even if it takes 5 years, 10 years, this will be the review date.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Fleming to review the impact of the smoking ban with data from the business license renewals at the first Board of Aldermen meeting in May of each year, starting in 2006, and to review the information at that point and continue to review every year thereafter.
Alderman Lembke said this May 1, 2006 is too soon. He said that’s only four months into the new law. Alderman Terbrock said that this is the date, whether this first review in 2006 is too early or not, next year it will be fine. Alderman Fleming said that if businesses are leaving, we can ask them why they left. If the site this as a reason, then that’s the alarm that has been suggested. At least it will be reviewed and show that we are taking an interest in watching the issue.
Alderman Buermann said that on May 1, 2006, we will have the data on the restaurants that did not serve alcohol. He said all he wants out of the whole exercise is to make sure that we have good data.
Alderman Robinson said we are not going to have data on the total smoking ban impact until May, 2007. Alderman Buermann said that he is concerned, not only for these business people, but for the other business people who experienced the smoking ban in effect on March 11. He said we will have that data, and this is the Board’s duty.
A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Mayor Young said that in the audience is a person from a radio station, a newspaper, and from the Chamber of Commerce. With the smoking ban going into effect on January 2, 2006, he challenged these three people, if they think that this is good for the City of Ballwin, to get out there and promote Ballwin as the city that is smoke-free. Let’s see if we can prove to the communities as a whole that we have done the right thing. He said that the Board has taken a lot of heat, they have passed an ordinance that goes into effect on January 2, and it’s time now that you as a community that can do something about this. He said that they can promote this in the newspaper, the Chamber, and on the radio, saying that Ballwin has taken the initiative to be a smoke-free community. If the people are encouraged and business is good, maybe the rest of St. Louis County and the State of Missouri will do something in the next legislative action. He said it’s important that this is done along with the Board to do what they can to promote this.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Pogue to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 8:55 p.m.
Walter S. Young, Mayor
Robert A. Kuntz, City Administrator