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
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 BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Jones at 7:00 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the January 24, 2005 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Gatton 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.
The Minutes of the January 29, 2005 Workshop Retreat were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi 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.
Carol Whitaker, 522 Oak Ridge Trails Ct.: Mrs. Whitaker said she is concerned about the trainer, Tim Adel, not being retained at The Pointe. She said that one of the reasons she moved to Ballwin was because of The Pointe fitness and workout facilities. She was shocked to find out that the Trainer’s contract was terminated suddenly and in a rude and unprofessional manner. She asked that he be allowed to work for 6 months to complete his contract obligations to his pre-paid clients. This situation is a loss to The Pointe. She said many people joined The Pointe because of Tim, and now these people have been left out in the cold.
Alan Soskin, 731 Mark Wesley Lane in the Red Maple Farm Subdivision: Mr. Soskin said he has served as a commissioner for the St. Louis County Planning & Zoning Commission and treasurer and Board member of the Greater St. Louis Parks & Recreation District. He and his wife have worked out at The Pointe with Tim Adel for over a year. He said when he reviewed the Ballwin statutes, he said the management at The Pointe is arbitrarily violating Section 18-13 regarding the use of facilities by outside contractors and instructors. He said he cannot understand why Mr. Adel was terminated. He said The Pointe has not been collecting the money for this sub-contractor. The statute says they will. He paid Mr. Adel not The Pointe, and now Mr. Adel does not have a place to train the people who paid him. He said he cannot believe that Ballwin is going to treat the residents, members of The Pointe, and their sub-contractors in this manner. He asked that the City look at its statutes and see why this action is being taken. Mayor Jones said that this is a confidential personnel issue even though he was an independent contractor. This issue cannot be discussed in this meeting by the Board. Mr. Soskin asked why is the management at The Pointe not following the statutes and if the statutes have been revised. Mayor Jones said that we don’t have statutes, we have ordinances. He will review the ordinance. City Attorney Lucchesi said that this is one of the problems.
Robert Whitaker, 522 Oak Ridge Trails Ct.: Mr. Whitaker said that he and his wife moved to Ballwin last July. One of the reasons they moved to Ballwin was because of The Pointe. They joined The Pointe last January and then hired Tim Adel as their trainer. Last Wednesday they received an e-mail from Tim saying that he was terminated by the Parks and Recreation Department and could not train them at The Pointe any longer. He said that Tim has over 30 clients at The Pointe and has brought many new clients to The Pointe in the last 4 years. They have never heard anyone speak badly of Tim. He provided excellent service and information. As new residents, they cannot understand how Parks and Recreation can be so inconsiderate to them and Tim’s other clients at The Pointe. He said this was a very mean spirited thing to do. As new residents of Ballwin and members of The Pointe, he asked if the Director of Parks and Recreation thought about the consequences of her actions. He asked couldn’t the Director allow Tim 3 or 4 months to finish with his clients at The Pointe? Parks and Recreation’s job is to serve the residents of Ballwin and members of The Pointe and not to alienate them and make the customers angry at the city management and the Director of Parks and Recreation. He said there will now be much animosity between the members of The Pointe and the Director of Parks and Recreation. As new residents, this is their first experience with the City Administration and they are very upset about this. How could the City do this to Tim’s clients at The Pointe. Mr. Whitaker said that he will pay for each Board member to have one session with Tim and let them decide what kind of person he is. He said that this situation has nothing to do with Tim’s contract; Parks and Recreation just wanted to get rid of him. He said this is not good publicity for the City of Ballwin. He reminded the Board not to forget his offer for one training session with Tim.
BILL # 3339 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 18 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN ENTITLED “PARKS AND RECREATION”, BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION 18-14 ENTITLED “ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY PERSONNEL.”
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a first reading of Bill No. 3339. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3339 was read for the first time.
Alderman McDowell asked if this is going to be kept in place indefinitely. City Attorney Lucchesi said that there is no termination provision in the ordinance, but it was set up as a separate section so that it could be rescinded at any time without changing any other part of the ordinance. City Administrator Kuntz said this was intended to be ongoing. To attempt to be more specific in this legislation would be extremely difficult. Alderman Gatton said that when he proposed this legislation, he had no intention for it to have a limited deadline.
Alderman Lembke said that his understanding is that anyone on leave from active military duty is eligible and they do not have to be returning from overseas. City Attorney Lucchesi agreed.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a second reading of Bill No. 3339. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3339 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3339 with the following results: Ayes – Lembke, McDowell, Robinson, Suozzi, Fleming, Buermann, Gatton, Pogue. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Jones declared Bill No. 3339 approved and it became Ordinance No. 05-08.
Items A, B, and D were moved to the City Administrator’s report for further discussion.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Lembke to accept Item C of the Consent Items. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Vacancies: Mayor Jones said there is a vacancy on the Planning & Zoning Commission to fill the position left by Terry Byatt in Ward 1. He asked the Ward 1 Aldermen to propose a new Planning & Zoning Commission member prior to the next meeting.
Mayor Jones said that Dan Sidoti, who has served as the Ballwin representative to the Missouri Extension Council, has completed his tenure and cannot be re-appointed as stated in the by-laws of that organization. He asked the Board of Aldermen to provide suggestions for an appointment to this position prior to the next Board meeting. He asked for an article to be placed in March issue of the “Horizon” regarding candidates for this position. Potential candidates can call Mayor Jones at his voice mail at the Government Center. It would be helpful to provide a brief description of duties in the article.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Pointe Professional Services: City Administrator Kuntz said this contract is regarding hiring an architectural firm to design and develop plans and specifications for the roof repairs for the natatorium. This is a highly specialized type of project. An experienced firm is necessary to lay the foundation and establish the groundwork so that the bidders provide a product that will solve the problem. It is recommended that the low bid be accepted. There are not-to-exceed numbers on the proposal.
Alderman Fleming asked if they are going to help prepare the bid package and examine the bids. City Administrator Kuntz said they will be involved through the entire project.
A motion was made by Alderman Gatton and seconded by Alderman Robinson to approve the proposal by Jacobs Facilities, Inc. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result. The motion passed and the bid was approved.
Golf Course Aerifier: City Administrator Kuntz said this is a specialized piece of equipment that gets the soil regenerated so that there is healthy growth. This procedure is performed 3 times each year. He said this is not a good piece of equipment to rent. Based on a life cycle of 20 years, it costs approximately $1,000 per year to own. Alderman Fleming asked if money could be saved by having a contractor do this instead of purchasing the equipment at this time. City Administrator Kuntz said that there are no contractors that do this; equipment might be rented but our own employees would do this procedure. By using this equipment 3 or 4 times every year for 20 years, it is cheaper to own it than to rent it.
Alderman McDowell questioned spending $20,000 at this time instead of renting. City Attorney Lucchesi said there are residential and commercial grades of this equipment. Alderman Lembke said that renting the equipment could be a problem when bad weather interferes. This could cause a delay in aerifying because of not being available when weather conditions are favorable. There is usually a window of opportunity and if the equipment is readily available, at least part of the project can be done. City Attorney Lucchesi said if the greens are dry and turn brown, how much money will be lost from play?
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Pogue to accept the recommendation to accept the Turf Professionals Equipment Co. bid. A voice vote was taken with 6 Aldermen voting Aye and Aldermen Fleming and McDowell voting Nay. The bid from Turf Professionals Equipment Co. was approved by a vote of 6-2.
North Pointe Air Conditioning: City Administrator Kuntz said bids were received and it is recommended that the air conditioning unit for North Pointe concession stand be purchased from the low bidder C.S.I. in the amount of $5,680. This is within the 2005 budget. Alderman Pogue said that C.S.I. is mainly an appliance repair company and not known for hvac installation. He recommended awarding the purchase to Air Masters. This company specializes in hvac and has an apprenticeship approved training program with the Department of Labor. City Administrator Kuntz said that Air Masters has done much work for the City, they are totally reputable. The only experience we have had with C.S.I. has been repair of refrigeration.
A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Lembke to award the contract for the North Pointe concession stand air conditioning to Air Masters. A roll call vote was taken with the following result: Aye: Aldermen Pogue, Lembke, Gatton. Nay: Aldermen McDowell, Buermann, Suozzi, Robinson, Fleming. The motion failed by a vote of 5-3.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Buermann to accept the low bid by C.S.I. in the amount of $5,680.00. Alderman Lembke asked if there is going to be a discussion. Mayor Jones said that no one asked for a discussion. The motion was made and seconded. Mayor Jones said he cannot believe that all of this discussion is taking place. This is the third item that is being discussed that is within the budget. We have bids and he doesn’t think micro-managing these projects is necessary. Alderman Lembke said he will relinquish the floor.
Alderman McDowell suggested that more information be obtained before going forward with this project. He said that Alderman Pogue knows individuals in the air conditioning industry and this information could be helpful. City Administrator Kuntz said there are no negative references. All three bidders are qualified contractors, it’s under budget, and in accordance with Board direction, whenever possible, the low bidder is recommended. Alderman Pogue said he would ask for a letter of training and references of other projects.
Alderman Lembke said the questions that should be asked are 1) do they have licensed hvac technicians who are going to be installing the equipment, or are they going to be people that are used in the shop who may have years of experience but are not licensed, 2) who is going to do the calculations on the duct work sizing; is it someone with enough experience in hvac or is this going to be a guess; 3) provide references of where similar equipment has been installed using hvac duct work and hvac design and ashray design criteria. He said anybody can supply the 4-ton air conditioning unit, but connecting it to the coils and duct work and making sure the duct work is sized properly and making sure the equipment and lines are done in a workmanship fashion and quality is extremely important. He said it’s one thing to take something apart and repair it, but it’s another to have to install it. Alderman Lembke said he has experience in the hvac field and he is concerned about the qualifications and experience of C.S.I. He agreed with Alderman McDowell that rather than moving forward with C.S.I. at this time, he would like assurance that they have qualified licensed technicians and a design engineer who has experience designing hvac systems so that we don’t end up getting ourselves into trouble and needing to tear out all of the duct work and have someone redo the whole project.
A roll call vote to accept the C.S.I. bid as presented by Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer was taken with the following result. Aye: Alderman Robinson Nay: Aldermen Fleming, Gatton, Lembke, Suozzi, Buermann, Pogue, McDowell. The motion failed by a vote of 7-1.
A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Lembke to proceed with Alderman Lembke’s suggestions to gather the information and submit this information at the next Board of Aldermen meeting. A voice vote was taken with 7 Aye votes and Alderman Robinson voting Nay. The motion passed by a vote of 7-1.
Public Opinion Survey: City Administrator Kuntz said a similar survey was undertaken 2 years ago, and he believes that a repeat of this exercise will not provide additional insight and analysis that isn’t already on the table. He said “DirectionFinder” is a different approach to the public opinion survey. Since this is the year for this survey, he asked how the Board wants to proceed.
Mayor Jones said that the suggested survey by DirectionFinder is too long. People do not want to spend 20 minutes on the phone answering questions. He said the response is much less from a mail survey.
Alderman Robinson said the public opinion survey is a waste of money. He said the result of the survey will be that the residents don’t want any new taxes, they don’t want any services cut, they think there is waste in government, and the city officials should take care of that. He said there will be a poor response rate. He views the surveys as a tool where government can say that they attempted to get input from the community, this was our survey, and this is the result. The survey is an excuse that the government tried to get input from the community. He said the Mayor and Aldermen should get out among the residents and make sure we have our finger on the heartbeat of the community, rather than having a professional organization charge $7,000 - $15,000 depending on how many calls they make to hear people tell them “you’re bothering me, I’m getting ready to have dinner, I don’t want any more taxes, and don’t cut any services”.
Alderman Gatton said he is not getting any enlightenment out of the surveys. He too can predict what the responses will be. He said in the past, we have almost challenged the citizens to come up with ideas. We do this every 2 years and get the same answers. There must be a better way, but he said he doesn’t know what it is at this time.
Alderman McDowell disagreed. He said staff has taken the results from the surveys, and some of the developments in Ballwin has been the result of correlating this information with what the citizens desire. We have used this information and have referred back to it many times. It may seem like you can calculate the responses in some categories, but there are some responses that stand out that the citizens address and staff has taken the lead in addressing those issues from the surveys. He said the public opinion survey is a great resource. He said there is valuable information that can be obtained from the survey.
City Administrator Kuntz said that if the survey is performed again, with the same format and same questions, he agreed with Alderman Robinson that we would be wasting money. He said we have gained from the experience since 1989. It gave past Boards the confidence and courage to make some difficult choices and funding decisions that lead to some of the best recreation facilities in St. Louis. Mayor Jones said the questions have to be asked in some form. City Administrator Kuntz said his recommendation is to get a proposal for Board approval that is a 10-minute survey of 400 - 500 residents. The Public Opinion Survey is in the budget for 2005.
Alderman Buermann said this should be done to update the strategic plan. There will be a lot of decisions to be made throughout the year and in future years. More information needs to be obtained. Alderman Suozzi said that without the survey, the information may not be scientific, or based on an average.
Alderman Fleming asked if a web survey has been considered. City Administrator Kuntz said this has been considered as a supplement but not as a direct replacement. He suggested that this method not be done as the primary survey at this time. Alderman Suozzi said the question would be who is using the computer.
Alderman Buermann asked if putting the survey on the web could be possible. City Administrator Kuntz said this could be an option. Those responses could be coded and correlated with the telephone responses to see if there is consistency. Alderman Buermann said that if we contract with someone, it should be agreed that the survey will be put on Ballwin’s website. City Administrator Kuntz agreed.
Alderman Lembke asked if it would be appropriate to ask people for a 10-minute phone survey and then ask them if they would be willing to fill out a longer form that may take 30 minutes and return it to the City. City Administrator Kuntz said this will make the process more complicated and will cost more money. Alderman Buermann said this would give more information.
Alderman McDowell requested that the results of the survey be provided on the internet for public access.
A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Robinson to adopt the ETC format for 400 completed surveys with the provision that posting the survey and results on our website. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Sewer Lateral Changes: City Administrator Kuntz said it was suggested that a slight increase in the maximum payment formula be allowed, that the contractors maintain a satisfactory rating with the Better Business Bureau, and the scope of the program be expanded. Legislative action is required.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Lembke to draft legislation for consideration at the next Board meeting. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
New Ballwin Road: City Administrator Kuntz said he has been contacted by the Chairman of a citizen’s group. He provided recommendations for improvements to New Ballwin Road. This summary has been provided to the Board. Alderman Buermann asked if St. Louis County set out stringent requirements and have those requirements changed. The St. Louis County’s demands would be financially to our disadvantage. City Administrator Kuntz said that all communications with St. Louis County have ceased prior to this current administration. He does not know under the current situation what the sentiments of St. Louis County are. That should be the first step in any process. Without the partnering with St. Louis County there is no reason to have a presentation on recommendations.
Alderman Suozzi said this was federal money that we were trying to obtain. Some of the road requirements of the design were to comply with federal government design standards.
City Administrator Kuntz said that he can contact St. Louis County. If they say they will talk with us, City Engineer Kramer can put together a history of the project, and then the Board can decide what direction to take at that point. The Board agreed.
Staff Car: City Administrator Kuntz said the Inspection staff had requested the Chevrolet Impala. He said the Dodge Stratus is also on the state bid and is a smaller vehicle with a significant cost difference. The smaller car will meet the needs of the Inspection Department. Alderman Gatton said that there is a question of maintainability. He said that historically, Chrysler has a greater frequency of repairs than Chevrolet or Ford. We could be saving money on one end and losing money on the other. The new vehicle will replace the last of the police cruisers that was handed down. The decision was made that it wasn’t cost effective to use recycled police cars because the idle time and actual odometer miles result in high and unpredictable maintenance costs. Because the inspectors have a much less intense use for the car than the police officers do, we would go with the State bid and cut the maintenance down to almost nothing on the staff cars. Mayor Jones said that he would have to see statistics on Chrysler and Dodge being less dependable than Ford and Chevrolet because that has not been his personal experience.
A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Pogue to purchase the Dodge Stratus for the Inspection Department. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Finance & Administration Committee Meeting: Alderman Buermann said that the Finance & Administration Committee will meet at 6:00 p.m. on February 28 instead of 6:15 p.m. He said it’s important to make sure the financial condition of the City is maintained. Four businesses have closed since the first of the year. He said some very difficult decisions will have to be made before the end of the year. The meeting is open to the public.
Adjourn: A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.
Robert E. Jones, Mayor
Robert A. Kuntz, City Administrator