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 April 9, 2007 BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
City of Ballwin
300 Park Drive
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Young at 7:05 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the March 12, 2007 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Kerlagon to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to vote at this time on Bill # 3474 for Provisional Judge and the Oath of Office. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
BILL # 3474 - AN ORDINANCE APPOINTING VIRGINIA NYE AS PROVISIONAL JUDGE FOR THE CITY OF BALLWIN.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Pogue for a first reading of Bill No. 3474. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3474 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Pogue for a second reading of Bill No. 3474. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3474 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3474 with the following results:
Ayes – Pogue, Lembke, Buermann, Kerlagon, Suozzi, Terbrock. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3474 approved and it became Ordinance No. 07-09.
OATH OF OFFICE: The Oath of Office was administered to Provisional Judge Virginia Nye.
PRESENTATION: National Communication Workers: Mayor Young signed a Proclamation recognizing National Public Safety Telecommunications Week. Captain Bobbie Saulters and Dispatch Supervisor Joe Harris expressed appreciation for the recognition and praised the excellent staff in the Communications Unit. This unit serves 55,000 residents. In 2006, the unit handled 38,000 calls for service.
Phyllis Erwin, 574 Spragues Mill: Mrs. Erwin asked why the State Legislature is promoting a law (SB22) to change the term of office of Mayor to 4 years in cities in excess of 20,000 people that are fourth class cities. She asked where did this bill get started, who instigated this bill, why don’t the citizens of Ballwin know about this bill? She said that Senator John Loudon proposed the amendment on this bill to mandate the 4-year term. Alderman Terbrock said that Senator Loudon should be contacted and asked to vote against this bill.
Alderman Robinson said that the State Representative should be contacted and asked to act on this. Mrs. Erwin said that Ballwin should not be controlled by the State. Alderman Robinson said that this bill only applies to Ballwin because Ballwin is the only 4th class city with a population of 20,000 residents or greater. He said he does not know who asked Senator Loudon to do this. He said that he was told by other Senators that this was an amendment that was added by Senator Loudon.
Alderman Pogue said that the bill was originally designed to give cities of the fourth class throughout the State of Missouri with the option of having a 2, 3, or 4-year term for Mayor. He said that Senator Loudon made the amendment that singles out and will force Ballwin to have a 4-year Mayor’s term. The Board was notified by the Missouri Municipal League about this bill. Mrs. Erwin said that this bill should not be allowed to pass. She said that since the residents don’t know about this and it has not been published, it sounds sneaky. She said she is angry about this and feels that someone is trying to pull something over on the citizens of Ballwin. Alderman Terbrock said that amendments can be attached to bills without our knowledge. Unless someone is on-line everyday, this can happen.
Alderman Lembke said that this amendment singles out Ballwin as the only city that will be affected. Everyone else will have the option of having a 2, 3, or 4-year term for Mayor. He said that a couple of years ago, Senator Loudon took it upon himself to attempt to negate the smoking restrictions that were placed in the City of Ballwin by adding a bill at the last minute that said that any city of the fourth class that had a population greater than 31,500 would not be allowed to enforce or to pass any smoking restrictions within their city limits. He said that this bill was also directed specifically at the City of Ballwin because Ballwin is the only 4th class city of this size. He said that if this bill passes, Ballwin has no option other than from this point forward to have 4-year terms for Mayor regardless what our citizens feel about this, or good or bad for the City of Ballwin. We lose control. He said that comments should be sent to the state senators, and Senator Loudon, and State Representatives. This is an example of the State of Missouri trying to tell Ballwin that they know better than we do about the needs of the community.
Press McDowell, 298 Portwind Place: Mr. McDowell said that he is opposed to the law that will require a 4-year mayoral term for fourth class cities with over 20,000 people. He said the legislation that Senator Loudon has introduced upsets him greatly because it denies the authority of the City of Ballwin. He said that someone contacting Senator Loudon on this issue stems from animosity between the Mayor and the Board. This takes away from the sovereignty authority of Ballwin to make decisions on behalf of the citizens. He said the Board made a decision that the Mayor’s term should be 2 years and that’s what it should be. He said that the citizens deserve a mayor and board that works together. If you start going to the State for issues like this, it will not stop, and will continue on other issues. Ballwin will not be the city that we have always treasured. If a state issue needs to be addressed, that’s when the state legislators should be contacted. This is a city issue and should remain a city issue.
William Harrison, 521 Holshire Way: Mr. Harrison said that Mayor Young called him and asked him to run against Jim Robinson because he wanted to bring peace and tranquility to the Board. He said he chose to run because he wants to see a renaissance in Ballwin. He believes that Ballwin has great potential. He asked why is Ballwin losing businesses. He said a citizens’ committee should be appointed to figure out what’s needed to balance the budget. Grants should be obtained to make the utilities less vulnerable to ice storms and heavy summer weather. The city should be made business friendly. The aldermen should be in contact with new business and old business owners to make them comfortable in Ballwin. The more new business there is in Ballwin, the less need there will be to raise taxes. He said there should be Town Hall meetings or coffee at aldermen’s houses for discussions. He said he wants to talk to the officials not the website. The infighting should be stopped and the main concern should be for the Ballwin citizens.
Alderman Buermann asked Mr. Harrison’s if it is true that his campaign manager was Senator Loudon’s mother. Mr. Harrison said this is true.
BILL # 3474 - AN ORDINANCE APPOINTING VIRGINIA NYE AS PROVISIONAL JUDGE FOR THE CITY OF BALLWIN.
(Voted upon and approved immediately following approval of the Minutes above.)
BILL # 3475 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 14, ARTICLE V BY ADJUSTING THE GROSS RECEIPT PAYMENT AMOUNT PERCENTAGE (UTILITY TAX) FOR CERTAIN BUSINESS IN THE CITY OF BALLWIN.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Kerlagon for a first reading of Bill No. 3475. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3475 was read for the first time.
Alderman Kerlagon asked if everyone on the Board is supporting this bill. He said that this is probably not a permanent solution, but is temporary. He said the Board needs to be united on this issue.
Alderman Buermann said he does not believe that this will be a unanimous vote. He said this should be decided by the voters.
Alderman Suozzi said that this is not a solution. She said that if the Board votes on this, the residents will feel that they did not have the opportunity to speak about this. She prefers placing a property tax on the ballot.
Alderman Robinson said that he does not support this tax and feels that the citizens should vote on this. He said that contact is made with the business owners. The Board has worked hard to increase the business in Ballwin. He said that people want to have a voice in additional taxes.
Alderman Terbrock said that a utility tax is not enough to solve the financial problems. He said he opposes this tax without a vote of the people.
Alderman Fleming said that he supports this bill because it’s a step in a direction that needs to be taken. The Board has an opportunity to act responsibly if financial conditions warrant. He said that $3 million should be spent on Ballwin streets every year. $1 million is being spent. Last year $100,000 was borrowed from reserves to meet projected budgeted expenses. The Seventh Inn burned to the ground. If another major business had an unfortunate happening, immediate corrective action would have to be taken. Reserves are not as high as they should be. The utility tax is a necessary step and the Board has the ability to enact this legislation.
Alderman Lembke said that if a tornado took off the roof of a major business in Ballwin and that business was closed for 3 – 6 months, emergency action would have to be taken. He said that we are okay in 2007 and 2008. The problem is what are we going to do in the future. The proposed utility tax increase will bring in between $750,000 and $850,000 per year. A new franchise fee formula has been approved by State law. This will negatively affect the amount of Ballwin’s revenues. If the real estate tax rate had not been set back to zero in 1988 or 1989, that would have allowed this Board to make changes. Because that did not happen, it must be approved by a vote of the people. The city has been enlarged by annexations which requires more revenue.
Alderman Terbrock said that a real estate tax is the only solution at this time for Ballwin residents to continue in the same lifestyle. He said that Ballwin has a balanced budget. Alderman Lembke said that in the past, he was committed to running Ballwin without tax increases, but at this time, there is a necessity to do so. If the utility tax is not passed at this meeting, he suggested moving forward with a search committee to find a group that will come forward to promote a ballot issue for a real estate tax.
Alderman Terbrock said that he did not support the smoking ban, but the ban is not the cause of the problems.
Mayor Young said that if the bill is passed, the breakdown will be 50% to streets, 40% to operating, and 10% to reserves. City Attorney Lucchesi said that this does not have to be stated in the bill, but it will be satisfactory to reflect this in the Minutes.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Robinson for a second reading of Bill No. 3475. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3475 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3475 with the following results:
Ayes – Kerlagon, Lembke, Fleming . Nays – Robinson, Pogue, Suozzi, Terbrock, Buermann. Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3475 failed by a vote of 3 votes to 5.
BILL # 3466 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN BY THE ADDITION OF A SECTION 1-15 FOR CHAPTER 1 OF THE CODE CONCERNING RECOVERING ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS FOR VIOLATIONS OF CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES RELATED TO THE HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE OF CITIZENS OF THE CITY, AND AMENDING CHAPTER 7, SECTION 258 DEALING WITH INSPECTIONS OF COMMERCIAL ESTABLISHMENTS.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi for a first reading of Bill No. 3466. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3466 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Pogue for a second reading of Bill No. 3466. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3466 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3466 with the following results:
Ayes – Kerlagon, Suozzi, Pogue, Lembke, Terbrock, Fleming, Buermann, Robinson . Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3466 approved and it became Ordinance No. 07-10.
A RESOLUTION REGARDING OPEN MEETINGS AND RECORDS.
To insure legal compliance with statutory requirements.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Pogue to adopt the Resolution. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
CONSENT ITEMS: (Budgeted items which are low bid and do not exceed expenditure estimates and/or items which have been previously approved in concept.)
Alderman Pogue requested Item B, S.U.E. Transfer of Chrysler West location to The Dean Team, be removed for discussion.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Robinson to accept the Consent Items except for Item B. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Liquor License Renewal: Mayor Young said the Jaycees applied for renewal of two licenses for on-premise consumption at the Ballwin Days Festival. A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Buermann to approve the request. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
S.U.E. Transfer for Chrysler Plymouth West: City Administrator Kuntz said that this is a transfer only. This does not impact on the moratorium for expansion of auto related dealerships.
Alderman Pogue said that he will abstain from voting on this due to personal and work related issues.
Alderman Fleming said that this is a transfer from Chrysler Plymouth West to the Dean Team, two separate entities. He asked why this is not considered as an expansion of the Dean Team’s business. City Attorney Lucchesi said that it is the same organization relocating one existing line of business and would not be an expansion. They could set up another corporation, transfer the S.U.E. Alderman Fleming said the Comprehensive Plan describes reducing the number of automobile dealerships along Manchester Road so that other more revenue friendly developments might be pursued, or other things that the Comprehensive Plan suggests. He said that the Resolution in January states establishing a moratorium on the construction of any new or the expansion of any existing automobile sales business within the City of Ballwin, which establishment or expansion requires legislative approval. City Attorney Lucchesi said that this is not legislative approval. It is a motion to approve the transfer. He said this is ministerial transfer and has nothing to do with legislation. A business is not being expanded. It’s a business that is already there. Alderman Fleming disagreed and said he will be voting against the transfer.
Alderman Robinson said that this discussion is leaning toward litigation and legal exposure in an open meeting. He said this should be discussed in closed session. The Board agreed. (See Closed Session Minutes on Page 8).
Police Contract: City Administrator Kuntz said this is regarding the contract with Clarkson Valley.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Robinson to grant staff continuing discussion along the lines as outlined in the memorandum. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Excavation Permits: City Administrator Kuntz said this is a recommendation of imposing a fee as an incentive to get the permits and inspection, and not having to re-dig for the inspection. This requires legislation. A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Lembke to draft legislation for consideration. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Holloway Park Pavilion and Personnel: City Administrator Kuntz said that it was discussed in the budget preparation and public input sessions regarding the cost of personnel which has been approximately 65% of the operating budget total. He said that if this personnel had not been in place, we would have had to use a County contract for brush removal in which 6-8 weeks of constant work was performed. This personnel will save the city from 30% to 50% of the cost of the pavilion that would have to be done by contract. The $15,000 price would be closer to $20,000 or $30,000. He said that personnel will be paid for either in the form of contractual labor or employees. The benefits of dedicated employees is not always appreciated until they are gone or provided by another agency. He said we are fortunate to have a good level of personnel so that when the need arises, the job gets done. It’s important to recognize the benefit besides just the cost. He said that when we talk about numbers, we are talking about people’s lives.
Policy Manual Review: City Administrator Kuntz said that since there will be a closed session, he recommended postponing the Policy Manual review until the next meeting. The Board agreed.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Morena Ct.: Alderman Suozzi asked that the Morena Ct. yard art be discussed in closed session due to potential litigation. The Board agreed.
Public Works Committee: Alderman Pogue said that the Public Works Committee met at 6:15 on this date. Traffic calming devices were discussed. Alderman Lembke will meet with Chief Vince Loyal from the Metro West Fire Department to get an opinion on a particular type of speed bump that is snow plow and emergency responder friendly. The discussion on red light cameras has been postponed pending the outcome of Senate Bill 239. Staff will look into grant money with Safe Routes to School regarding crosswalk signs and additional sidewalks added around the schools.
Pedestrian Bridge: Alderman Terbrock said that Ballwin did not receive the grant for the pedestrian bridge and will receive back the grant application fee. Therefore, the money will not be spent.
Budget: Alderman Fleming said that the Board agreed that upon conclusion of the budget, within 30 days, a list of recommendations would be prepared to be considered in the next year that would improve the budget situation. The recommendations can take the form of revenue, tax increases, or cutting expenses. He said there has been a lot of discussion. A real alternative was offered at this meeting that would get immediate funding and it was turned down. A list of recommendations needs to be prepared as agreed. He asked guidance from anyone who wants to offer an opinion.
Alderman Terbrock said that he did not realize that the finance committee’s list did not meet this requirement. Alderman Fleming said that just making a list does not satisfy the responsibility. He said that corrective action should be taken in addition to providing a list of recommendations.
Spring Brush Pickup: Alderman Robinson said that due to the overabundance of brush from the winter ice storms, the regular spring brush pickup was cancelled. There are not sufficient resources to pay overtime or commit the staff time this late in the season.
Citizen’s Committee: Alderman Robinson said that he and Alderman Fleming desperately tried to create a citizen’s committee to examine street expenditures, how streets are evaluated for work and where the money should be spent. After about a year, there were only three people with the necessary expertise who agreed to serve. It’s difficult to get volunteers to review hundreds of pages of engineering reports and complaints.
Defibrillators: Alderman Lembke said that these are used by the Police Department. Lives have been saved by this equipment when the Police Officers arrive before paramedics and Metro West. He said the existing units do not meet the current training standard, and needed to be upgraded or replaced. It is just as cost effective to replace with new equipment.
Ballwin Website: Alderman Kerlagon suggested that each alderman put their views on issues on the website. He said this will eliminate misquotes in the press and among the citizens. Mayor Young said that there will be more features in the new website this summer that will help with communication.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Pogue to adjourn to closed session to discuss potential litigation. A roll call vote was taken with the following results: Ayes: Buermann, Lembke, Pogue, Fleming, Suozzi, Robinson, Terbrock, Kerlagon. Nays: None. The motion passed to adjourn to closed session at 8:26 p.m.
The Board convened in closed session at 8:28 p.m.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Pogue to adjourn the closed session. A roll call vote was taken with a unanimous result, and the closed session was adjourned at 9:10 p.m.
The Board reconvened in open session at 9:12 p.m.
Mayor Young announced that the Board met in closed session to discuss potential litigation. No votes were taken.
S.U.E. Transfer for Chrysler Plymouth West: City Administrator Kuntz said that the transfer will allow The Dean Team to move one of its product lines to the former Chrysler West location. The following roll call vote was taken: Ayes: Kerlagon, Lembke, Suozzi, Buermann, Terbrock. Nays: Fleming, Robinson. Abstain: Pogue. The S.U.E. Transfer was approved by a vote of 5-2.
Adjourn: A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Lembke to adjourn the open session. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
Walter S. Young, Mayor
Robert A. Kuntz, City Administrator