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.
The Ballwin Board of Aldermen will meet in a workshop session at 5:15 p.m. on Monday, November 8, prior to the regular Board of Aldermen meeting, to discuss Operating Budget preparation for 2005. This meeting will be held at the Donald “Red” Loehr Police and Court Center in the Board room at 300 Park Drive. No official action will be taken at this meeting.
This meeting and all other meetings are open to the public and the building is handicapped accessible.
Robert Kuntz, City Administrator
Residents of Ballwin are afforded an equal opportunity to participate in the programs and services of the City of Ballwin regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, familial status, national origin or political affiliation. If you are a person requiring an accommodation, please call (636) 227-8580 (V) or (636) 527-9200 (TDD) or 1-800-735-2966 (Relay Missouri) no later than 5:00 P.M. on the third business day preceding the hearing. Offices are open between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
CITY OF BALLWIN – 300 PARK DRIVE
November 8, 2004
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Jones at 7:02 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the October 25, 2004 Capital Budget Work Session were submitted for approval. Alderman Buermann corrected the call to order and adjournment to remove his name since he was not present at this meeting. The meeting was called to order by Mayor Jones and the motion to adjourn was by Alderman Suozzi. A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Gatton to approve the Minutes as amended. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
The Minutes of the October 25, 2004 Board of Aldermen meeting and Closed Session were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Gatton and seconded by Alderman Lembke to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
EMERGENCY EVACUATION PLAN
Captain Steve Schicker gave an overview of the plan. He said this plan was reviewed and revised under the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Grant to provide uniformity in the plans of all municipal and county emergency management offices. The review was conducted by members of the Police Department, State Emergency Management Agency, and the Louis Berg Group. There was no cost to the city for the review or revisions. The law enforcement agencies involved in developing the plan were Ballwin, Chesterfield, Ellisville, Manchester, Town and Country, and the St. Louis County Police Department representing Wildwood and Winchester.
City Administrator Kuntz said this plan will be followed in the event of an disaster evacuation.
Alderman Gatton asked how does the CERT program fit into the Emergency Evacuation Plan. Captain Schicker explained that CERT is a program under the State Emergency Management Agency. It is an independent State regulated citizens program that is funded through the State and Federal Emergency Management Agencies. It is not connected with the local emergency operations plans. It is organized through the local fire districts. Alderman Gatton said that in the plan, he didn’t see anything regarding working with CERT trained individuals. Police Chief Biederman said this is because Metro West manages the CERT program; therefore, Ballwin doesn’t have access to all of the volunteers. St. Louis County does not offer the CERT training program. He said Metro West will be provided a copy of the Emergency Evacuation Plan.
Ron Hopper, 216 Spooners Mill Drive: Mr. Hopper, the petitioner for the 140 Holloway Road project asked the Board to reconsider his petition. He said his plan will be adjusted to comply with the concerns of the Board as follows:
The size of the sign will be reduced.
Changes will be made to maintain the residential character of the commercial building and site. The size of the addition to the back of the house will be reduced. This will improve density, less parking, and more green space.
The screening will be increased at the end of the property on the east side with evergreens or other vegetation or other means that the Board and residents find acceptable.
Mr. Hopper asked to be allowed to submit a revised plan at the November 22 Board meeting.
Dan Nester, partner at Bryan Cave LLP: Mr. Nester said he is the attorney representing Mr. Hopper. He said if the Board will allow a re-submission of the plan for 140 Holloway Road, the plans will be revised to reflect the requirements of the Board. This is a request that is procedurally proper and the Board is empowered with the authority to reconsider matters which they deem appropriate. He said he respectfully requests that the Board grant the petitioner’s right for reconsideration of the plan. If this request is granted, the City will have a development in accordance with the City’s master plan and the present zoning of this property. This would also be advantageous for Mr. Hopper because he would be able to utilize his property in an economically feasible manner and in accordance with the City’s mandates and zoning requirements.
Mayor Jones said that one of the aldermen who cast a negative vote would have to move for the Board to reconsider Mr. Hopper’s petition. Mayor Jones asked if anyone would like to make such a motion.
A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Pogue to reconsider the plan for 140 Holloway Road. A voice vote was taken with 7 yes votes and Alderman Robinson voting No. The motion passed with 7 yes votes and 1 no vote. Mayor Jones said this item will be placed on the agenda for November 22 for reconsideration.
Alderman McDowell asked if Mr. Hopper and Mr. Nester would provide an artist rendering of how the site would look. Mr. Nester said they will do everything they can to meet this request in the time frame available. City Attorney Lucchesi said there is a fine line between a new plan and a plan reflecting the changes set out above. This resubmittal should only be adjusted to the comments and not be a completely new plan that would have to be resubmitted to the Planning & Zoning Commission. Mr. Nester agreed.
BILL # 3325 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 18 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN WITH RESPECT TO GOLF COURSE FEES.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Lembke for a first reading of Bill No. 3325. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3325 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a second reading of Bill No. 3325. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3325 was read for the second time.
A roll call vote was taken for Bill No. 3325 with the following results:
Ayes – Lembke, Pogue, Robinson, Gatton, Buermann, McDowell, Fleming, Suozzi. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Jones declared Bill No. 3325 approved and it became Ordinance No. 04-45.
Mayor Jones said in order to vote in favor of adopting this consent item, it should be understood that this will be for the preparation of legislation and holding a public hearing.
A motion was made by Alderman Gatton and seconded by Alderman Robinson that since the Capital Budget has been reviewed by the Board of Aldermen and approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission, that legislation be prepared to adopt the Capital Budget for 2005. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Mayor Jones said a public hearing will be held on November 22.
Term Expirations: Mayor Jones said that if any of the Aldermen have nominations for the Arts Commission, he asked that this information be given to him so that he can make the appointments on November 22. He said there are also three members of the Historical Commission whose terms are expiring on December 31, 2004. Any suggestions or nominees from the Board should be given to him prior to the November 22 meeting.
Mayor Jones asked City Attorney Lucchesi if non-residents can be appointed to the Historical Commission, and can a non-resident hold an office. City Attorney Lucchesi said he will have to research this but he believes that non-residents can be on the commission but not hold office. He will follow up with this information.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Benefit Changes: City Administrator Kuntz said that the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and the gift certificates are recommended for elimination, and that the savings from these program eliminations be applied to reduce the employee portion of their health insurance premiums. He said eliminating the EAP is not necessarily a reduction in benefits because this service is an option under the health insurance through referral. Mayor Jones asked if EAP is used as a probationary tool in personnel matters. City Administrator Kuntz said EAP is not specifically used in this case.
Alderman McDowell asked about the employee gift certificate program. City Administrator Kuntz said this is a long-standing program where once a year at the holiday season, each full time employee receives a $25 certificate to a local merchant, usually Schnucks. He said this could be viewed as additional compensation; he suggested eliminating the practice because it is a questionable form of taxable compensation.
Alderman McDowell said he is in favor of continuing the certificate program because it is a symbol of gratitude to the employees. Alderman Lembke said the memo regarding eliminating the certificates and the EAP program and putting this dollar amount into the employee insurance premiums was sent to the employees on October 21. What was their response? City Administrator Kuntz said he and the Department Heads did not receive any comments from the employees. Alderman Lembke said that this could be interpreted that the employees are comfortable losing the EAP and the $25 gift certificate as long as the money was being put toward decreasing their insurance cost. City Administrator Kuntz said that if employee salaries were increased by $25, the taxable liability would be created. The auditing firm has mentioned that it would be better to do something different. It’s not an illegal practice, just simply a recommendation.
Alderman McDowell said he is still in favor of giving the employees the $25 gift certificate because it helps morale.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Lembke to adopt the recommendation set forth in the October 21, 2004 memo from City Administrator Kuntz. A voice vote was taken with the result being 6 Aldermen voting yes, and Aldermen McDowell and Pogue voting no. The motion passed with a 6-2 vote.
Mayor Jones said this will result in a change in the Policy Manual for 2005. This amount has been budgeted for 2004 and the programs will continue to the end of 2004.
Court Pay: City Administrator Kuntz said there is a provision in the Code of Ordinances for addressing the issue of compensation for certain positions when the incumbent has a conflict with attendance. He recommended a 75% reimbursement because of preparation and duplicate work load. The ordinance designates 50% of the prevailing rate for the provisional judge.
A motion was made by Alderman Gatton and seconded by Alderman Lembke to draft legislation to amend the compensation for the provisional judge and sitting judge compensation as discussed in the previous memos. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative vote and the motion was declared passed. Mayor Jones then instructed City Attorney Lucchesi to prepare legislation for consideration at the next Board meeting.
Reserves: City Administrator Kuntz said there is a provision in the Policy Manual requiring a minimum cash reserve equal to 15% of the Operating Budget at the end of the fiscal year. It is recommended that the policy be amended to reflect Ballwin’s current financial situation, and the minimum reserve be reduced to 10%.
Alderman Gatton said that it sounds like policy requires an emergency fund and the balance in the fund is supposed to be 15% of the operational budget at the end of the year. This does not mean that 15% of the operational budget should be budgeted into the fund, but the balance should be 15%. He said this is different from what has been discussed. If the balance is already 15% or more, then no further contributions are necessary to the emergency fund.
Finance Officer Loehr said at this time, there is 10% in reserve. City Administrator Kuntz said he projects to close the books on December 31 with 10%-12% fund reserve for 2004. The policy as currently worded says that it shall be 15% minimum.
Alderman Gatton said that the policy also says that this is supposed to be reviewed each year. He said that his interpretation of this is that a goal would be set each year and not have the percentage at a permanent fixed rate.
Mayor Jones said that this is his perspective also that the percentage should not be a permanent unchangeable rate.
City Administrator Kuntz said that based on the Operating Budget that was presented to the Board at the Budget Work Session, he does not think that the reserve fund will be at 15% at the end of 2005. Alderman Gatton said that the investments are not yielding what they did 10 or 15 years ago. City Administrator Kuntz said that as the budget goes up, so does the proportionate amount of reserve. Nothing is being taken out of the reserve fund in 2004 or 2005, it is being maintained, but at the end of 2005, it will not reflect the 15% policy.
Mayor Jones said that he doesn’t think we should wait until the end of the year, and if the 15% is not in the fund, change the policy. City Administrator Kuntz said the suggested policy change is because the budget what has been presented does not reflect the 15% reserve.
Alderman Gatton said the policy and practice should be consistent and this is not being done. City Administrator Kuntz said that if the Board is comfortable with changing the policy then every year the amount of the reserve will be reviewed in conjunction with the annual appropriation ordinance and established accordingly for the following year.
Alderman Lembke suggested wording the policy as follows: A desired unencumbered cash reserve minimum balance of 15% of the annual operational budget should be targeted, and the Board of Aldermen shall review this policy annually in conjunction with the adoption of the annual appropriations ordinance for the next year.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Gatton to draft a new policy regarding the reserve fund for Board review. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was passed.
Investment Policy: City Administrator Kuntz said the CDARS program is geared toward bundling and giving the same protections but with an opportunity to get higher interest yields. Since this is not listed as an instrument in our investment policies, it is suggested that this be added to the list of acceptable investment instruments that the City can use to invest public funds. This will be added by ordinance with Board approval.
Alderman Fleming asked what banks are offering CDARS. Finance Officer Loehr said that the banks offering CDARS are Pulaski Bank, Pioneer Bank and National City Bank. There are approximately 500 banks nationwide offering CDARS.
Alderman Buermann said if Citi Bank is on the list, he would have to withdraw from a vote due to a conflict of interest. Alderman Gatton said that Citi Bank is not listed in the article from the “St. Louis Business Journal”.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to draft legislation allowing the Board to add CDARS to the list of approved investments for the City of Ballwin. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and Mayor Jones declared the motion approved.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
City Attorney Lucchesi said he has tried diligently to resolve the litigation matter discussed in the last closed session. He will let the Board know when more information is available.
Public Health & Safety Committee: Alderman Robinson said he would like to schedule a committee meeting to discuss the smoking restrictions legislation to determine if changes should be made to the proposed bill and bring it to the Board or let it die in committee. The committee members agreed to meet on November 22 at 6:15 p.m. in the Board room.
Ballwin Road Committee Meeting: Alderman Buermann said neither the Board of Aldermen nor any city representatives were invited to this meeting. He said the newspaper article said that no one from the City showed up. Alderman Gatton said the newspaper article was incorrect. He said he attended this meeting and was told by the people at the meeting that they were surprised that he was there. He was invited by a member, and Alderman Lembke was also present. He was told that they didn’t want aldermanic Board members at the initial meeting because they were setting the ground rules etc. They wanted to progress with their presentation before they involved the Board of Aldermen or city representatives.
Alderman Gatton said the committee was told that there is no current project on the table for New Ballwin Road, reopening the discussion next year is possible, but nothing is formally on the table and there are no new existing projects. The committee members would like to put their plans, thoughts, and requirements in front of the Board for consideration if the discussion is reopened. He said the committee is going to present a broad community based approach and not represent single interests. Alderman Gatton said that he and Alderman Lembke are not advising them, just observing and answering technical questions. The need still exists for the improvement of New Ballwin Road.
Alderman McDowell said the whole Board of Aldermen should probably not attend this kind of citizen comments meeting. A representative should be sent, but not the whole Board.
Alderman Suozzi said the newspaper article said an invitation was extended to the Board and no one showed up. This was incorrect. She is concerned about several aldermen attending this type of meeting and representing the City. Questions are being answered by only a couple of representatives.
Alderman Lembke read the portion of the article and said this is attributed to Mr. Burner: “We invited all aldermen to attend the meeting. Alderman Charles Gatton and Alderman Ray Lembke both from Ward 4, attended and listened to what we had to say. We will continue to meet to discuss the issue……” Alderman Lembke said that there was no formal invitation extended to anyone on the Board. He said he received an invitation to his household because he lives in that area. He said the list was obtained from the list of people who attended the meeting at Selvidge. They used the comment cards for the mailing list. He said this group is trying to be pro-active, pulling together resources of citizens from within Ballwin, citizens in the community that use New Ballwin Road, and they are trying to determine what the concerns are about New Ballwin Road, and what improvements can be made to meet these major concerns about this roadway. He said they are using a professional approach, brainstorming, using a committee approach, and they will keep the committee together for 120 days. Sometime after the January 1, they hope to come to the Board of Aldermen and present their input for consideration. If the Board decides to go forward with action on improvements on New Ballwin Road, they are presenting what the people have told the committee in their research. He said Ballwin needs the citizen input if this project is going to move forward at all.
Alderman McDowell said he is in favor of the Board listening to the comments of the committee.
Adjourn: A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Lembke to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 7:58 p.m.