Board of Aldermen Meeting Agendas & Minutes
Every effort is made to ensure that the Agendas and Minutes provided on this and subsequent pages is timely and correct; however, users should keep in mind that this information is provided only as a public convenience. In any case where legal reliance on information is required, the official records of the City of Ballwin should be consulted.
The Board of Aldermen meet on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the Board Room of the Ballwin Government Center, 1 Government Ctr. Schedule and place subject to change. Meetings are open to the public. All citizens are urged to attend.
Board of Aldermen Meeting
Meeting AgendaCity of Ballwin Board of Aldermen Meeting Agenda and Briefs
Agendas and Briefs are available before a meeting takes place.
Minutes of a meeting are reviewed at the following meeting and are available after approval by the Aldermen.
MINUTES OF THE FEBRUARY 12, 2007 BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
City of Ballwin
300 Park Drive
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Young at 7:02 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the January 20, 2007 Aldermanic Retreat 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.
The Minutes of the January 22, 2007 Board of Aldermen meeting and closed session were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Pogue to approve the Minutes. Alderman Robinson asked about the Mayor not signing the approved minutes of January 8. City Attorney Lucchesi said that the only signature required on the approved minutes is the secretary, which is the City Administrator. This is noted in the minutes, however, the minutes stand approved as passed by the majority of the Board. City Administrator Kuntz has signed the January 8 minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
PUBLIC INPUT – REVENUE ENHANCEMENT
Mayor Young said that Board response to questions will be answered on the website and in written form at the next meeting or at the Government Center.
Ken Leichert, 1106 Westrun Drive, 63021: Mr. Leichert said that the price of asphalt has increased at a more rapid rate than concrete. He said that Ballwin requires only asphalt pavements. When only one product is required, the best price is not always possible to obtain. He suggested considering concrete pavement in addition to asphalt for city streets.
Daniel Sidoti, 500 Wellshire, 63011: Mr. Sodoti said that the budget summary is well done and helps citizens to understand the financial problems. He said that a utility tax increase will increase Ballwin revenues by $1.1 million. He asked is Ballwin facing a budget crisis? Please define the crisis. Is it a long term or short term crisis? Is road improvement the main crisis or are there others? How much revenue is needed to address the problems? What property tax rate is being considered? What impact will the utility tax and property tax have on existing businesses in Ballwin and trying to attract new businesses to Ballwin? He asked if there is a way to consolidate the Ballwin Police Department with St. Louis County or other communities? He said that out of the 7% sales tax, Ballwin gets back only 1%. He asked if pressure could be put on the State to get back a higher percentage.
John Krebs, 846 Claymont Dr., 63011: Mr. Krebs asked what are the budget problems? How much money does Ballwin need? What is the timeframe? What will be done with the increased revenue? Will roads be improved and in what timeframe?
Diana VanLeuven, 126 Caybeth Dr., 63021: Ms. VanLeuven asked how does Ballwin compare to the other municipalities in this area regarding taxes?
Clifford Boylan, 327 Quail Village, 63021: Mr. Boylan said he is vehemently against a property tax. A utility tax would be paid by everyone. He said that Ballwin bought a house on New Ballwin Road to extend the park. The Board should consider how money can be saved instead of spending.
Shirley Mergenovich, 230 Bitterwood Dr., 63021: Ms. Mergenovich said she is very concerned about a property tax. She said that services should not be cut. Other cuts should be considered.
Jim Keefe, 924 Dutch Mill, 63011: Mr. Keefe said that he is strongly opposed to a property tax. He is in favor of a utility tax. A utility tax is paid in small increments and is a fixed number.
Kathy Caldwell, 754 Stony Creek Dr., 63021: Ms. Caldwell suggested cutting costs within city operations. She is opposed to building a pedestrian bridge from Ries Road to Vlasis Park. She said this is a waste of money. There aren’t lots of people walking along Manchester Road. If a tax is increased, how will more businesses be attracted to Ballwin? A tax should not be considered unless everything possible to cut costs has been implemented. She asked if the tax would be based on square footage, where the younger people live, or lot size, where the older people live? She asked who is this tax going to hit the hardest?
Jim Sharpe, 269 White Tree Lane, 63011: Mr. Sharpe said it is important for elected officials to do a good job of analyzing situations to find alternatives. He suggested that a comparison of the financial data of the neighboring communities be reviewed. What are other cities doing? Are they facing the same problems? If so, to what extent? What increases are we experiencing and why? Salaries, equipment, acquisitions, and expenses for past, present, and future should be reviewed. Expenses and revenues being received for the services and facilities provided to the community should also be reviewed. He said that there are alternatives that can be reviewed and adjusted before a tax increase is imposed.
BILL # 3465 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 2, SECTION 2-101 and SECTION 2-105 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN BY REDEFINING THE TERM OF OFFICE SET FORTH THEREIN.
Mayor Young vetoed this bill on January 22, 2007. State statute requires the reasons for the veto be provided prior to a second vote.
Verbatim response from the Mayor concerning Bill #3465 – Term of the Mayor:
“My reasons for vetoing Bill # 3465, Term of the Mayor, are simple. First, we are like other forms of government where we have executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. The President, the Governor, and the St. Louis County Executive, and 43 Mayors in St. Louis County all have three or four-year terms. Ballwin is the fifth largest city in the county. Of the top ten cities, we will be the only one that has a Mayor with a two-year term. In all cases, the people have the right to decide who will serve in these positions every four years. If these offices changed every two years, could anything be accomplished? Mayors, with two year terms, are elected one year and the next year he or she is running for re-election. State Statue 70.050 allows the voters to change the term of the Aldermen of a fourth class city, but only allows the Aldermen to change the term of the Mayor. Another way to change the term is to form a Charter City. The people would then be able to vote on the term of the Mayor and Alderman. The term could be two, three, or four years. It would then be up to the residents to make that decision.
The duties of the Mayor, as stated in the Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 79 dealing with Fourth Class Cities, Section 79.210 states, and I quote, “The mayor shall from time to time, communicate to the Board of Aldermen such measures as may, in his opinion, tend to the improvement of the finances, the police, health, security, ornament, comfort and general prosperity of the city”. This statue states that the mayor has a duty to bring to the Board measures as may tend to improve the finances of the city. I believe that the mayor also has the responsibility to move the city in a forward direction in a way that will best meet the needs of the citizens. We cannot continue to do things the same way that they have been done in the past because financial conditions in the city are not the same as in the past. We must take some different approaches to our concerns. I have given the Board some ideas to consider. I wanted a group of residents to become involved before any of these ideas would become a reality.
Secondly, the change in term will not change my term that expires in April, 2009. It would affect future mayors. One reason for extending the term in 2000 was to draw more qualified candidates. The Mayor runs city wide. The cost of running a campaign is much greater than the cost to an Alderman, about 10 times greater. Each future campaign will cost more than the previous campaign.
Thirdly, I believe this change in term is a political decision by the Board of Aldermen. There have been comments that the past two contested elections for Mayor were especially ugly. If this is true, a two-year term would only result in more politics not less politics.
I have a lot at stake in this city. Our two daughters and our four grandchildren live in Ballwin. I want to insure that Ballwin continues to be a financially sound city for all our residents. I hope the Aldermen will consider this bill quickly tonight so we can move on to more important issues. We should be addressing the concerns of our residents, such as street repairs, decline in retail business, empty retail spaces, and increasing our city’s revenue so we can continue to provide the services that our residents expect.”
City Attorney Lucchesi said that if the bill passes, the objections of the Mayor thereto not withstanding.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Fleming to override the Mayor’s veto of Bill No. 3465, an ordinance amending Chapter 2, Section 2-101 and Section 2-105 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Ballwin by redefining the term of office as set forth therein, and should the bill pass, the objections of the Mayor thereto notwithstanding.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3465 with the following results:
Ayes – Lembke, Pogue, Robinson, Buermann, Fleming, Suozzi, Terbrock. Nays – Kerlagon. The motion passed and Bill No. 3465 became Ordinance No. 07-04.
Dan Peters, representing Fischer & Frichtel: Mr. Peters said that they have attempted to contact everyone surrounding the Coachlight development regarding the change to the plan. He provided signatures of the majority of people who can either see the development or be impacted by it. He said that everyone has agreed that they would like to see the change in the plan. The development plan changed because circumstances changed.
Dorothy Henricks, 445 Buckhurst Dr., 63021: Ms. Henricks said shame, shame, shame on the Board for changing the Mayor’s term to two years. She said this Mayor was elected because people wanted a change. He beat two incumbent aldermen with 42% of the vote. She said the Board has not looked at all angles to cut expenses before considering a property tax. She is opposed to changing the mayor’s term of office to two years to be in line with all of the cities comparable to Ballwin. Alderman Pogue said that it was Ms. Henricks’ dad, Mayor Young, who wanted to raise the utility tax without asking the residents for their opinion.
BILL # 3468 - AN ORDINANCE APPROVING A REVISED FINAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN OF COACHLIGHT SUBDIVISION IN THE CITY OF BALLWIN, ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Terbrock for a first reading of Bill No. 3468. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3468 was read for the first time.
Alderman Pogue asked Chris DeGuentz, Fischer & Frichtel Vice President, if there are plans to have deed restrictions regarding fences. Mr. Peters said there will be deed restrictions stating that there will be no fences allowed separating properties.
City Attorney said that what was common ground in the original plan will be deeded to the people that own the villas in this plan and patios will be allowed. He asked what will prevent people later on from installing fences? Mr. DeGuentz said that there will be fee simple ownership of the lsnd, which will allow patios. The fencing issue is covered within a revised master indenture that will restrict the use of enclosure fences within the perimeter of that lot. Privacy screening between units is allowed, but this is only a 6-foot long section of fence.
City Attorney Lucchesi asked if the indentures could be changed later on to allow fences. Mr. DeGuentz said that if the whole development decides they want to change an indenture, this would be possible. Alderman Pogue said that the common ground would be chopped up by fences or encroached upon by patios. Mr. DeGuentz said that the maintenance provisions for the community will prevent this because the maintenance providers will not want to have all the yards separated by fences. This will cause a maintenance issue because the grass is mowed by the maintenance company. Fences would restrict free access to taking care of the open ground. Alderman Pogue said he wants to preserve the common ground for the future residents. He suggested using the plan but retaining the alley way and that section for common ground. Mr. DeGuentz said that they want to move forward with the new plan that has been submitted.
City Attorney Lucchesi asked if there are landscaping provisions on the site plan. Mr. DeGuentz said that this was one of the conditional approvals. City Attorney asked if these are standard house plans that Fischer & Frichtel has used in other areas. Mr. DeGuentz said this is a new product for this location.
Alderman Pogue asked about the 10 feet space between units. Mr. DeGuentz said the plan has 10 feet between structures. This supports vegetation growth, sunlight and the ability for the maintenance company to access the rear yard areas with the mowers.
Alderman Suozzi asked if there is a possibility of putting the garages in the rear. She said that in her opinion, the plan is ruining both the back yards and front yards. Mr. DeGuentz said that the disadvantage is the front yard setback and the two-car off-street parking requirement, in addition to the two-car garage requirement that the zoning requires. He said this leave little room to squeeze in a villa type unit.
Alderman Suozzi asked what is the setback requirement for this area in the development. Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that the front yard setback is 20 feet. City Attorney Lucchesi asked if this plan is consistent with the good planning practice requirement. Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that in his opinion, it is not as it relates to this particular site in the project. He said that when the site was originally laid out, the lot dimensions were established by the builder. They proposed roughly 10 units per acre, a high density multiple family development by Ballwin standards.. The City’s Comprehensive Plan which was in effect at the time this was approved, did not anticipate this site being utilized in a mode other than industrial. When the site development plan was approved, Ballwin was in effect amending its Comprehensive Plan as it relates to this site. The developer presented the plan. Now, by changing the density, this changes the plan. It eliminates the common ground that was available to everyone living in the development, it does away with the character of the site plan by changing the locations of the garage door and public and private roadways.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Buermann to discuss this issue in closed session due to the potential for litigation. Alderman Buermann suggested completing the agenda and going into closed session at the end. Alderman Robinson agreed.
(SEE MINUTES FOLLOWING THE CLOSED SESSION FOR THE VOTING RESULTS OF BILL # 3468 AND #3469).
CONSENT ITEMS: (Budgeted items which are low bid and do not exceed expenditure estimates and/or items which have been previously approved in concept.)
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Pogue to accept the Consent Items. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
S.U.E. Transfer – Howard Park Center: Mayor Young said this matter is regarding the transfer of the Day Care Center special use exception for 265 Steamboat Lane at the corner of Steamboat and Kehrs Mill. He said that Howard Park has signed off on the transfer and there are no plans to make any changes to the exterior of the site.
A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to accept the S.U.E. transfer. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Debula Drive: City Administrator Kuntz said the City of Ellisville is requesting Ballwin’s participation in the design and reconstruction of a portion of Debula Drive, which is within the City of Ballwin. He said the reason for the two-year time lag is engineering in 2007 followed by utility work in 2008, and then construction in 2009. This is a commitment for the first phase, but by extension this will subject the Board to whatever the construction bid comes in at on a pro-rata basis. This is an unbudgeted item. He said the Board recently under consented to turning back the local share for the Holloway Road storm water grant, so there is limited discretionary funds available should the Ellisville request be approved.
Alderman Pogue asked for City Engineer Kramer’ opinion. City Engineer Kramer said this is a short piece of street with no sewers. The improvements would be a benefit for drainage. He said it makes sense to do this at the same time as the rest of the street. City Administrator Kuntz said if the street was strictly within the City of Ballwin, this would not be a top priority because of the limited number of residents served, but it is more cost effective to participate at this time than incrementally later.
Alderman Kerlagon asked if this is the appropriate time to consider concrete instead of asphalt. City Administrator Kuntz said that Ballwin is involved in cost-sharing on this project. Ellisville is going to design, bid, inspect, and oversee the project. He said the suggestion can be passed along to Ellisville. City Attorney Lucchesi said that the reason Ballwin switched to asphalt streets years ago, was that asphalt streets are easier and less expensive to maintain. It was a life cycle cost decision. Alderman Suozzi said that patching a concrete street and making it esthetically pleasing is difficult. Alderman Terbrock said that snow removal deteriorates concrete streets faster than asphalt. Alderman Lembke said that there have been technique changes for concrete and suggested that City Engineer Kramer evaluate the new process.
Alderman Lembke asked if improving Debula would make it a cut-through for traffic from Manchester Road between Ellisville and Ballwin. City Administrator Kuntz said he does not believe this is an issue.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi that the engineering cost of $8,000 be covered in the 2007 budget from funds originally intended for the Holloway Road storm water project. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
City Attorney Vacancy: City Administrator Kuntz said that the staff screening of the applicants has been completed. Three applicants did not fit the requirements for the position. He suggested notifying these three and setting up dates for interviewing the remaining four. He asked the Board for direction.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Kerlagon to notify the bottom three and to schedule interviews on March 26. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
March 26 Meeting: City Administrator Kuntz asked if the Board wants to cancel the regular Board meeting on this date and instead interview the applicants for City Attorney. He said there will not be a March Planning & Zoning Commission meeting.
A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to cancel the March 26 Board of Aldermen meeting. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Policy Manual Review: City Administrator Kuntz recommended postponing the Policy Manual review. The Board agreed.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Finances: Alderman Fleming said that, as Chairman of the Finance & Administration Committee, he is willing to respond to citizen e-mails on this subject and to provide the comparison chart of other communities relating to taxes, services, etc. He said that the Finance & Administration Committee has been meeting on a regular basis and studying all services and elements related to finances. He said the utility tax could either be acted upon by the Board or could be voted upon by the people. The property tax should definitely be decided by the voters. He said that some of the things people have asked for in the Public Input session at the start of this meeting are complete or in the process of being compiled and analyzed. He said he will e-mail this information to anyone who requests it. He thanked the audience for attending and for their input.
Term of the Mayor: Alderman Fleming referred to the comments made by Dorothy Henricks under Citizen Comments about Bill # 3465. He said that the last time anyone told him shame, shame, shame was when Ms. Henricks’ father, the Mayor, waved his finger at him for voting against eminent domain when he, the mayor, voted for it. Alderman Fleming said that the document that Ms. Henricks passed out to the Board, which allegedly argues for a 4-year term, actually argues for a two-year term. The document states that the ten largest cities in St. Louis County all have four year terms. He said that there are different kinds of cities, cities of the third and fourth class, and charter cities. Of the ten largest cities listed on Ms. Henricks’ chart, Ballwin is the only one that is a city of the fourth class. He said this is not a personal issue with the mayor. The document also states that the next largest fourth class city with a two-year term mayor is Manchester. Of the fourth class cities, 24 of 42 have a two-year term. He said that is the majority not the minority. He said that the document provided by Ms. Henricks supports the point of a 2-year term for a fourth class city.
A moment of silence: Alderman Lembke asked for a moment of silence for the Ballwin Marine, Matthew Pathenos, who gave his life for our country in Iraq.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Lembke to adjourn to closed session for the purposes of discussing possible litigation. A roll call vote was taken with the following results: Ayes: Buermann, Lembke, Pogue, Fleming, Suozzi, Robinson, Kerlagon, Terbrock. Nays: None. The motion passed to adjourn to closed session at 8:20 p.m.
The Board convened in closed session at 8:25 p.m.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann 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 8:36 p.m.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Buermann to reconvene in open session. A roll call vote was taken with the following result: Ayes: Pogue, Kerlagon, Suozzi, Robinson, Buermann, Terbrock, Fleming, Lembke. Nays: None. The motion passed.
The Board reconvened in open session at 8:38 p.m.
Mayor Young announced that the Board met in closed session to discuss pending litigation. No votes were taken during the closed session.
BILL # 3468 - AN ORDINANCE APPROVING A REVISED FINAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN OF COACHLIGHT SUBDIVISION IN THE CITY OF BALLWIN, ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI.
Mayor Young stated that Bill No. 3468 has had a first reading.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Robinson for a second reading of Bill No. 3468. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3468 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3468 with the following results:
Ayes – Lembke, Fleming, Buermann, Kerlagon, Robinson. Nays – Suozzi, Pogue, Terbrock. Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3468 approved and it became Ordinance No. 07-05.
BILL # 3469 - AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE APPROVAL OF A REVISED SUBDIVISION PLAT FOR COACHLIGHT SUBDIVISION AS PROVIDED IN CHAPTER 25 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN, MISSOURI.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Robinson for a first reading of Bill No. 3469. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3469 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. 3469. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3469 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3469 with the following results:
Ayes – Lembke, Fleming, Robinson, Kerlagon, Buermann Nays – Pogue, Terbrock, Suozzi. Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3469 approved and it became Ordinance No. 07-06.
Adjourn: A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to adjourn the open session. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 8:40 p.m.
Walter S. Young, Mayor
Robert A. Kuntz, City Administrator