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 and Finance & Administration Committee Meeting
City of Ballwin Board of Aldermen Meeting Agenda and Briefs
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
CITY OF BALLWIN
300 Park Drive
February 13, 2006 Finance & Administration Committee Meeting Minutes
February 13, 2006 Finance & Administration Committee Meeting Minutes
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Young at 6:33 p.m. in the Board room at the Donald “Red” Loehr Police and Court Center at 300 Park Drive. The meeting was open to the public and notice was posted in the 24-hour lobby of Ballwin Police Department, the Government Center, the Golf Clubhouse and The Pointe on the Friday preceding the meeting. Those in attendance were Chairman Buermann, committee members Aldermen Gatton, Fleming and Terbrock. Also present were Mayor Young, Aldermen Pogue, Suozzi, City Administrator Kuntz, Assistant City Administrator Aiken, Finance Officer Loehr, and Chief of Police Biederman.
Chairman Buermann asked if the use tax challenge was overturned in court. City Administrator Kuntz said that the use tax was defeated on a County-wide basis by the voters several years ago. Some cities have enacted it, but Ballwin tried and failed miserably. It’s an extremely difficult tax to explain to the public. There has been discussion about St. Louis County trying again for a county-wide ballot initiative. If that happens, we would share the revenues on a pro-rata basis. When all six items in the memo are added together, you can come up with roughly the equivalent revenue that would be generated from a 30 cent property tax. This is an approach to get the same result but not use the word property tax.
Chairman Buermann asked what the City can do to gain more political influence on issues. City Administrator Kuntz said if the Board takes an official position on an issue, it will have more clout with legislators than a phone call or a visit to a legislative conference. If it reflects the unanimous position of several Lafayette Cities, it would have even more influence.
City Administrator Kuntz said that the transportation tax that Alderman Fleming mentioned, is not available to cities of the fourth class like Ballwin.
Chairman Buermann asked if there is anything going on in the state legislature regarding the ¼ percent increase to dealership hosting cities on the sales tax formula for the purchase of cars? City Administrator Kuntz said that he was told a few months ago that there was some lobbying for this from the automobile dealers that. The breakdown of the sales tax distribution has been given to the Board, showing the number of pool cities, how much is in the pool, and the point of sale cities. By doing the math on that formula, we have positioned ourselves to be the purest hybrid in St. Louis County. We are almost dollar for dollar, half pool and half point of sale. If we increase the point of sale, there will be less money going into the pool. This one is not a windfall. He said our calculations with four dealerships in the community are that it could amount to approximately $200,000 annually. The problem is the State does not give the breakdown in the source of these funds. We have been unable to get all of the hard numbers. With 25% staying at the point of sale, which was the current formula, and the rest of it going into a pool, by having almost 20,000 residents in the pool population, we’re getting that share of that pot. If revenues is retained on the point of sale side, the pool revenue will go down.
Alderman Gatton said that regardless of which approach we take, we need to tell the community how the money will be used. City Administrator Kuntz said that law enforcement tax revenues would have to stay with law enforcement. A change in the auto dealership revenues can be used anywhere and it won’t require voter approval. This would be a shift in tax. The use tax will be general fund money. City Administrator Kuntz recommends that the utility tax be a three-way split. Half should be used to build back up the reserves, to continue programs and services, and the other half used strictly for roadway improvements. This is similar to what he would recommend being designated with a property tax. It is the same concept only on utilities.
Alderman Fleming said that the Board should set a timeline and a plan of action. With the election coming up in April, setting a time line and asking someone else to abide by it if they are newly elected people will be an issue. He said a good first step will be to start informing the public right now of what is going on in the budget and how much is going to be needed to repair the roads so that they can understand what the staggering number is. Perhaps the Subdivision Trustees could come to the Town Hall meetings. A plan of action can be put together about how the public is going to be informed about our financial position.
Alderman Suozzi said that the reserve balance issue is difficult for the public to understand. It will be difficult for the public to understand this. She said this is an important issue.
Chairman Buermann said that about a year ago, the reserve clause was eliminated in the Board Policy Manual. Perhaps this should this be reconsidered. City Administrator Kuntz said that there has been no draw on reserves in the past two years. Ballwin has maintained a reserve fund balance at the close of the books of about 14%. He said we are not slipping further, but not getting to where the financial advisors want the city to be. Chairman Buermann asked Finance Officer Loehr to provide a current list of assets and property. Finance Officer Loehr said this is in the audit information.
Alderman Pogue said that it’s important to educate the citizens on the need for the reserve fund and how this affects bond ratings and finances. Alderman Suozzi said that the citizens should also be informed about the flat sales tax revenues and the importance of this revenue source for Ballwin.
Alderman Terbrock said that we are in for a rough road ahead. Action needs to be taken quickly. Cutting the budget is not solving the problem because people are not seeing any difference in the services from what they have had for the last 15-20 years. He said he doesn’t think saving $200,000 is going to be the answer to the problem.
Chairman Buermann asked about the next Town Hall meeting. City Administrator Kuntz said that there are none scheduled at this time. Mayor Young said that the Subdivision Trustees would like to be informed what’s going on. The Town Hall concept could be replaced with a meeting where the Subdivision Trustees would be invited. They would be given an overview of the budget with explanations for the future finances. They can express their concerns and questions. Instead of a Town Hall meeting where we are waiting for someone to come to us, we could actually invite the trustees to attend.
City Administrator Kuntz said that the city does not want to become a coordinator for any subdivision business. This meeting would, however, be an opportunity for Trustees to meet other Trustees. Anyone who wants to talk about pool maintenance or other issues under the guidance of the Trustees can do this without the city becoming actively involved in running trustee business or their affairs.
Alderman Fleming suggested two Town Hall meetings per year, one right after the election, and one right before the budget is prepared. This should be done on an evening instead of a Saturday morning. Sending invitations to the trustees of all of the subdivisions with encouragement to come will produce better participation at the Town Hall meetings.
Alderman Gatton suggested waiting until after the election for a Town Hall meeting where the Trustees are specifically invited to attend because there could be different aldermen on the Board after the election. Alderman Terbrock said that the election date should have nothing to do with scheduling this meeting.
The Board agreed that a Town Hall meeting should be held after the April election.
A motion was made by Alderman Gatton and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to adjourn. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the meeting was adjourned at 7:04 p.m.
Walter S. Young, Mayor
Robert A. Kuntz, City Administrator
Board of Aldermen Meeting
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Young at 7:00 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the January 23, 2006 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Pogue 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 30, 2006 Finance Work Session were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Fleming to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
Gary Gilliam, with Resource Management, presented a certificate of recognition to the City for a 66% increase in recycling in the City of Ballwin.
Tony Lamantia, Municipal Account Representative with Allied Waste, said that he has presented a proposal for an extension of service. He asked the Board for approval to negotiate with staff to work on an extension that would be acceptable. City Administrator Kuntz said that the current contract expires on December 31, 2006. Alderman Buermann said that the level of service from Allied Waste has consistently improved.
Alderman Buermann said that there are approximately 12,000 households in Ballwin. He asked where does that rank on Allied Waste’s list of cities that they service. Mr. Lamantia said that Ballwin is the 3rd largest city serviced by Allied Waste. Alderman Buermann said that because of this, he requests a better rate for service.
Alderman Lembke said that the proposed plan will benefit Ballwin in many ways. He said that one of the reasons Ballwin uses a single source for the trash collection is that it minimizes the number of large trucks on the streets, which can cause faster deterioration of the streets. He said the concept would be to use a once a week trash pickup, yard waste, and recycling. This will reduce the number of vehicles on the streets by about 25% - 30%. He said that storing a 90-gallon container, which will be provided by Allied Waste, could be a challenge for some people. Anything that people can do to keep stuff out of the landfill and into the recycling stream is going to help everyone, now and in the future. He said he is proud of the citizens of Ballwin for embracing the recycling program and are heavily participating.
Alderman Gatton asked about the timeline if competitive bids are solicited. City Administrator Kuntz said that solicitation would take place in June and a contract award by September, with 90 days for the transition if a new company was selected.
Mr. Lamantia said that in May, 2005, the City of Ferguson implemented this program and it is going very well.
Mayor Young said that residents are becoming frustrated because when they place broken down cardboard in the recycle bins or under the bins for pickup, they are observing the cardboard being taken out of the recycle bins, thrown aside, and then picked up by the trash truck driver. He requested that this situation be corrected with the drivers.
Mayor Young said that a two-year span before the 65-gallon recycling container is provided is too long. He said this should be done as quickly as possible. He said he hopes that the change over will take place next year.
Mr. Lamantia said that Allied Waste is requesting a 5-year extension agreement, or a 3 and 2 renewal.
Alderman Lembke asked that citizens give their input through e-mail correspondence. Also, the last meeting in April could be an opportunity for residents to speak during Citizen Comments about the program.
BILL # 3391 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 557, KNOWN AS "THE ZONING ORDINANCE" OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN AND AMENDING "THE DISTRICT MAP" BY CHANGING THE ZONING CLASSIFICATION OF CERTAIN LAND IN THE CITY OF BALLWIN FROM R-2 SINGLE FAMILY TO PSD PLANNED SINGLE FAMILY DWELLING DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT.
Alderman Fleming said that the developer has removed the rain garden from the plan to make it more standard and traditional. Alderman Terbrock said that it is unfortunate that the rain garden was removed.
Alderman Lembke said that he is concerned that the proposed homes are drastically out of place with the homes in the immediate area. He said there is a strong possibility that this project may not go forward. He asked if a marketing study has been done that shows that 4 homes in this price range are going to sell at this location.
Todd Brady, with California Homes, said that a formal marketing study has not been done. He said they have talked with appraisers and banks. They feel that this will be successful because of the location. He said that everyone who is going to finance this development and be involved in it is in agreement that this will be a success.
City Attorney Lucchesi said that this development cannot be considered spot zoning because the area is single family residential and the development is single family residential of a similar density.
Alderman Terbrock asked if this development can be considered a detriment to the neighborhood in any way. Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that the density is similar to that allowed by the current zoning. This location will allow four parcels. Mr. Brady said that the houses will be between 3,000 and 4,000 square feet.
Alderman Robinson said that he is concerned about the development along Clayton Road as a whole due to safety issues. More developments could result in 6 new streets with 24 homes. He said the trend seems to be subdividing larger lots and adding more homes. He said that no one at Parkway West High School had been informed of this development.
Mr. Brady said that the plan for future development to the east would require them to tie into the cul-de-sac and not create an additional curb cut closer to Parkway West High School. He said his proposed curb cut is about 1,000 feet from Parkway West. All of the lots would have to develop contiguously, tie back in and use the access point on Clayton Road to gain access in and out. He said that another street would not have to be added.
Alderman Robinson said that if a single lot owner says that he doesn’t want to sell, will the City of Ballwin have to tell the owners of Lots 4 and 5 that they can’t sell their property for as much as Lots 1 and 2 sold for because they couldn’t convince the owner of Lot 3 to sell? Mr. Brady said that this happens all the time.
Alderman Terbrock said that Mr. Brady has complied with everything according to Ballwin’s ordinances. He said that at this point, the proposal should not be turned down. Alderman Fleming said that it will be difficult to tell Mr. Brady no because he has a favorable ruling from the Planning & Zoning Commission, and the report from staff is that it meets all of the requirements.
Alderman Lembke asked can the Board at this time put together and call this a master plan and restrict development of these other similarly located properties so that they have to be developed pursuant to an internal roadway alignment. City Attorney Lucchesi said that if there is a plan that requires people to adhere to the plan, then this can be enforced. Mayor Young said that if this concept is approved, this information can be taken to the Comprehensive Plan Committee and say that this is the development direction that we think the area needs to follow. If the committee agrees, this can be included in the new Comprehensive Plan.
Alderman Lembke said that we don’t have a plan in place that pre-existed their request for the zoning that is being requested. Mayor Young said that if this development proposal is passed, the information would be sent to the comprehensive plan committee.
Alderman Lembke said that his concern is that if this is passed, and it is the Board’s intention to put this into the comprehensive plan, we need to let the impacted property owners know that if they are going to sell their property and develop it, it’s going to have to be developed in accordance with this plan. What happens if before the plan is communicated to Planning & Zoning, another developer wants to develop two lots now. He asked what does the City do? City Attorney Lucchesi said that you instruct staff that such proposals will not be considered until the comprehensive plan is completed, or that it will have to be developed so that there are not multiple curb cuts on Clayton Road, and that the property has to be developed with that in mind.
Alderman Robinson said that we have a comprehensive plan at this time.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Pogue for a second reading of Bill No. 3391.
Alderman Lembke asked about the green space. Mr. Brady said that these requirements have been met and are shown on the revised plan.
Alderman Terbrock said that Mr. Brady has done everything that this Board has asked. Alderman Gatton asked about the requirement for a sidewalk along Clayton Road. Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that there is an existing sidewalk along Clayton Road.
Alderman Robinson asked that Mr. John Kennedy, 14694 Clayton Road, be allowed to speak at this time instead of under Citizen Comments. The Board agreed. Mr. Kennedy said that he disapproves of this development. In his view, this location is not a desirable place to spend $800,000 for a home on a postage stamp lot on a busy curve on Clayton Road. He said that this development is doomed to fail. He said the first house will be built and then sit with no progress in sales for the rest of the development. Mr. Kennedy is concerned that he will be living next to a dirt pile for quite some time. He said the two-story house next door to him sold for $275,000 on nearly an acre. It’s going to be very tough to sell these proposed homes on the small lots.
A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3391 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3391 with the following results:
Ayes –Fleming, Terbrock, Suozzi, Buermann. Nays – Lembke, Pogue, Robinson, Gatton. Due to a tie vote of 4-4, Mayor Young cast the deciding vote by voting Aye. Mayor Young said that at this point, he doesn’t see anything legally that he can do but to vote Aye because otherwise the city will be put in jeopardy. Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3391 approved and it became Ordinance No. 06-09.
BILL # 3392 - AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE APPROVAL OF A SUBDIVISION PLAT FOR CLAYTON VALLEY ESTATES SUBDIVISION, AS PROVIDED IN CHAPTER 25 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN, MISSOURI.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Terbrock for a first reading of Bill No. 3392. A voice vote was taken with 7 Ayes and Alderman Robinson voting Nay.
Alderman Lembke asked for a motion to freeze additional development on the adjoining properties until the plan is approved. He said if this is not done at this meeting, he does not feel comfortable voting on this issue. Alderman Lembke withdrew his motion for a first reading of Bill # 3392.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Terbrock for a Resolution to freeze any development east of the proposed subdivision to Highland Ridge Drive until such time as the comprehensive plan is adopted.
Alderman Pogue said he is very uncomfortable telling a homeowner that they cannot sell and develop their property until the comprehensive plan is complete. City Attorney Lucches said that there are certain ways to accomplish what everyone is worried about. The property could be sold with a rider that if it is developed in the next 10 years, he would get a different price. The property is still sellable.
A roll call was taken for approval of the Resolution with the following results:
Ayes – Terbrock, Lembke, Buermann. Nays – Pogue, Robinson, Suozzi, Fleming, Gatton. The motion for a Resolution to freeze development east of the proposed subdivision failed by a vote of 5-3.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a first reading of Bill No. 3392. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3392 was read for the first time.
Mayor Young pointed out that in Section 3, Item D should be removed since the rain garden has been removed from the plans.
Alderman Suozzi amended her motion for a first reading to eliminate Item D in Section 3, because the rain garden is not being used. The amended motion was seconded by Alderman Buermann.
Alderman Robinson asked, regarding Section 3, Item A, does the staff report include submissions for the rain garden and should this also be amended? Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that the staff report does not recommend the rain garden. It only discusses what it is and how it works.
A voice vote was taken to delete Item D in Section 3. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a second reading of Bill No. 3392. A voice vote was taken with 7 Ayes, and Alderman Robinson voting Nay. Mayor Young said that Bill # 3392 will be held over until the February 27 meeting due to the Aldermanic policy that prohibits a second vote at the same meeting as the first vote without a unanimous approval to a second reading.
BILL # 3399 - AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING AND ENACTING THE MECHANICAL (#22,313) CODE OF ST. LOUIS COUNTY, AS AMENDED, AS THE MECHANICAL (ELEVATORS AND AMUSEMENTS ONLY) CODE OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Pogue for a first reading of Bill No. 3399. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3399 was read for the first time.
Alderman Lembke asked for clarification of “amusements”. City Administrator Kuntz said that this refers to amusement rides.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Lembke for a second reading of Bill No. 3399. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3399 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3399 with the following results: Ayes –Buermann, Fleming, Pogue, Robinson, Terbrock, Lembke, Suozzi, Gatton. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3399 approved and it became Ordinance No. 06-10.
BILL # 3400 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 25 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION 25-35 ENTITLED “INSPECTION FEES.”.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a first reading of Bill No. 3400. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3400 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Robinson for a second reading of Bill No. 3400. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3400 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3400 with the following results: Ayes –Fleming, Pogue, Lembke, Buermann, Gatton, Robinson, Suozzi, Terbrock. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3400 approved and it became Ordinance No. 06-11.
BILL # 3401 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 18 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN WITH RESPECT TO CERTAIN FEES.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi for a first reading of Bill No. 3401. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3401 was read for the first time.
Mayor Young asked if this is reducing fees. Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer said that this is regarding the creation of a new class of fee. It also includes Alderman Fleming’s recommendation for a seasonal ball field rental fee.
Alderman Robinson asked about the discussion regarding the possibility of selling the golf course to a developer because the golf course is not covering its own cost. What deficit would be projected with the new fee schedules. Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer said that weather is the biggest factor in golf course utilization. Good weather would mean operating in the black. The policies are being changed to encourage more play during the slower times, and to encourage group play. New marketing strategies are being considered. Alderman Robinson asked when was the last time the golf course operated in the black. Director of Parks and Recreation said 5 or 6 years ago.
Mayor Young said that one reason for considering closing the golf course in the future was the cost of redoing the irrigation system. He said a $30,000 operating deficite is not worth closing the golf course.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Terbrock for a second reading of Bill No. 3401. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3401 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3401 with the following results:
Ayes –Robinson, Gatton, Lembke, Pogue, Terbrock, Suozzi, Buermann, Fleming. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3401 approved and it became Ordinance No. 06-12.
CONSENT ITEMS: (Budgeted items which are low bid and do not exceed expenditure estimates and/or items which have been previously approved in concept.)
Appointments: Mayor Young asked if there are any recommendations for the Fine Arts Commission. Alderman Suozzi said that she knows of someone who is interested but needs directions on how this person should apply. City Administrator Kuntz said that a cover letter and a one-page resume should be submitted. The submissions will be reviewed by staff and submitted to the Board and the Fine Arts Commission.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Pavement Breaker: City Administrator Kuntz said this item exceeded the budget by $300. For $300 difference, it is important to have the type of equipment that has the flexibility and speed that will accommodate the use of the crew. The Bobcat unit does not have the adjustments that are needed for this kind of operation and does not meet bid specifications.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Buermann to accept staff’s recommendation on the pavement breaker. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Police Cars: A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Robinson to approve the purchase of the new vehicles and the SUV. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Candidate Forum: City Administrator Kuntz said this is a proposal from the League of Women Voters. Their request is for March 14. Due to the Municipal Court, the Board Room will be unavailable. Alderman Fleming suggested that this forum be held at The Pointe, provided the facility is available at that time.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Robinson to accept the League of Women Voters for a Candidate Forum on March 14, 2006. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Court Fees: City Administrator Kuntz said that this is a recommendation to fund the costs of the new holdover security system that a grant was awarded for a $32,000 system. These funds will help pay for the cost of the upkeep of the system. The State allows a $2.00 charge for this and must be put in the ordinance fee schedule.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Pogue to draft legislation for consideration. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
MSD Request: City Administrator Kuntz said this has been taken care of. MSD will contact the developers.
Closed Session: – Personnel and Real Estate
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
City Attorney Lucchesi said that every year we go through this with recreation fees. He suggested that this chapter be eliminated in the code of ordinances and request that the Parks Director present a schedule every year for Board approval instead of trying to change the ordinance.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Robinson to draft an ordinance allowing this procedure for recreation fees. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Municipal Judge: Alderman Robinson said that there needs to be a more permanent solution regarding the Municipal Judge. It was agreed by the Board that the process would be examined to hire the Municipal Judge. He said he prepared a summary of a plan that was prepared by Aldermen Pogue, Lembke, Gatton, and himself, that consisted of points to consider. He said there should be a description of the candidate that the Board is looking for as Municipal Judge. The second part is coming up with a process for soliciting candidates and then hiring them, coming up with an objective scale, coupled with the obvious subjective considerations, and by identifying subjective considerations. A more objective process can be achieved.
Alderman Robinson said that the first item for consideration is where should the candidate reside. Should the Municipal Judge be a Ballwin resident, or open up the position for residents outside the City of Ballwin?
Alderman Fleming asked if this evaluation and hiring policy is created, where will it be in the code of ordinances or the policy manual. Alderman Robinson said that some of the qualifications should be an ordinance. If the Municipal Judge is to be a resident of Ballwin, this should be in an ordinance. Other portions of the hiring process may better reside in the Policy Manual. He said there could be an ordinance that adopts the policy. City Attorney Lucchesi said that the Board of Aldermen has the power to make a requirement that the Municipal Judge be a resident of the City, but it is not a requirement in the State Statute. He said that if the Municipal Judge is going to be a resident, it should be in an ordinance. The procedures can be a policy.
Alderman Terbrock said that we will be limiting the selection if the candidates have to be Ballwin residents. Ballwin residency could be preferred, but not a requirement.
Alderman Robinson said that considerations could be residency, age, being licensed, number of years of being licensed, percent of practice in municipal law, etc. He asked the Board for suggestions.
Alderman Lembke said that a requirement to live in Ballwin could be viewed as limiting diversity. He said that if two candidates were equally qualified in every way, and one was a Ballwin resident and the other was not, he hopes that preference would be given to the Ballwin resident.
Alderman Pogue said he does not think non-residents should be excluded from the process. This will eliminate good candidates. The residency preference could be uses only as a tie breaker. The residency should not be high on the list for the Municipal Judge.
Alderman Robinson said that he believes the residency requirement is important because the Ballwin Municipal Judge should be familiar with what is important in Ballwin. He said if a defendant comes before the Judge for speeding on New Ballwin Road, the Judge living in Ballwin will know that on New Ballwin Road there are 2 churches and 3 schools. This is important knowledge. If the Judge does not live in Ballwin, he may not be familiar with the City. Alderman Robinson also stated his belief that a point system should be used for evaluation.
Alderman Fleming suggested that a candidate should be approved as qualified by the Administrative Committee if they possess seven of the ten desirable qualifications.
A motion was made by Alderman Gatton to prepare draft legislation for those portions of the proposal that should be included in the Code of Ordinances. The rest should be put into policy form for consideration for that format.
City Attorney Lucchesi said the ordinance will mouth the State Statute which lists five items. Alderman Fleming said that Ballwin’s regulations only require the candidate to be a citizen, over the age of 21 and under age 65, a resident of the State for 1 year, and licensed to practice law in the State, is all that is in Ballwin’s requirements. City Attorney Lucchesi said there isn’t much more than that in the State law.
The motion was seconded by Alderman Suozzi. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Laclede Gas Company: Alderman Pogue said that Laclede Gas is replacing parts of their meters to move to an automated meter reading system. He asked that the Board allow a representative from Laclede Gas to explain to the Board the procedure and some of the possible dangers with the new AMR systems and the safety concerns. There will no longer be an inspection of the meter and meter reading. The personnel currently reading the meters are trained to inspect the meters. With the automated system, the meters will not be inspected with the possibility of gas leaks being undetected for a long period of time. They are also doing away with the turn-on, turn-off program associated with service transfer; they check to make sure the system is adequate and safe before transfer.
City Attorney Lucchesi said that the Board is powerless to do anything about this. Alderman Pogue said he would like to draft a Resolution encouraging the Public Service Commission to look into the safety concerns of this and possibly discontinue the use of the AMRs. Maryland Heights, St. Louis County, St. Louis City, Jefferson County, and O’Fallon, Missouri have all enacted such resolutions.
City Attorney Lucchesi said that one of his clients makes automated meter reading systems and has done this for 30 years. He said he has not heard of the problems that are being suggested. It’s not a radio system.
Alderman Pogue said that the inspectors that come by monthly have gas registering devices so that they know if there is a leak. This program will completely eliminate this.
Roberts Rules of Order: Alderman Gatton said that Roberts Rules of Order are the official procedural process used by the Board. He suggested a review of this for future reference.
Metro West Fire District: Alderman Gatton complimented Metro West Fire District for the outstanding job they recently did on fighting a fire in his neighborhood.
Ballwin Police Department: Alderman Gatton complimented the Police for their handling of the recent auto burglaries in Ward 4. It was very properly and effectively resolved. Alderman Buermann said that there is a grant program available for communications equipment for disasters. He suggested looking into this. Perhaps Ballwin could team up with the surrounding cities on this to reduce cost.
Alderman Lembke said that certification is required by all elected officials of ICS 100 and 700. He asked staff to investigate this.
Alderman Lembke asked if there has been any thought given to recouping the actual expense of housing and feeding our prisoners that are in our jail or the County? Would it require an ordinance change to recoup the money. City Administrator Kuntz said that the only time you see things like this is when there is enabling legislation. Because we are a 4th class city, we are limited but he will investigate.
Alderman Lembke said regarding the motion he made to freeze any additional consideration for development along Clayton Road, he doesn’t understand how there can be a 4-4 tie for the development and then one of the four who voted for it turns around and votes against the freeze. Voting for Bill # 3391 may be setting the City up for this potential problem. He said he is concerned that some of the impacted residents may decide to sell their property to a developer, and Ballwin would have no choice but to approve an inappropriate plan. He believes the Board needs to impose a development moratorium for this area until the Comprehensive Plan is done and that the Board needs to communicate its concerns about this area to the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee.
Alderman Fleming said that the statement was a freeze until it could be put into the next comprehensive plan. City Attorney Lucchesi said this can be done right now by making a motion for a stay on development for these properties on Clayton Road for the next 3 months. Alderman Lembke said he would like to make that motion, with the exception of the development currently under consideration.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to freeze the consideration of any development of the properties between 14722 and 14640 along Clayton Road and 595, 597 and 599 Fieldstone Ln. for the next 3 months, with the exception of the development currently under consideration.
Alderman Fleming said that instead of a freeze, he wants to see that there is a way to tell staff and Planning & Zoning Commission what our intentions are and to be more specific. Mayor Young asked if this would be part of the comprehensive plan after direction is given to the plan committee.
Alderman Suozzi said that the strategic plans that she has seen are not typically that specific as to the number of curb cuts are allowed. Alderman Fleming asked if 3 months will give enough time to let staff and Planning & Zoning know what the Board would like to see? City Attorney Lucchesi said that there should be a time limit on this.
Alderman Robinson said the last two developments that the Board approved were approved for inconsistent reasons. One was approved because the developer said they couldn’t put expensive single-family homes on a small lot, which was 3 acres. The development under consideration tonight is four expensive single-family homes on a small lot. He asked how this can be? He said the Board needs to give better guidance to the Planning & Zoning Commission. This situation also is shown in the inconsistent vote on the freeze. He asked why is the development being approved when the Board doesn’t know what’s going to happen, and without discussion.
Mayor Young said that the Board does not have to agree to another subdivision. It could be turned down.
A voice vote was taken with 7 Ayes and Alderman Pogue voting Nay. The motion passed by a vote of 7-1.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Buermann to adjourn to closed session for the purposes of discussing real estate and personnel. A roll call vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result. The motion passed to adjourn to closed session at 9:40 p.m.
The Board convened in closed session at 9:45 p.m.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Gatton to adjourn the closed session. A roll call vote was taken with a unanimous result, and the closed session was adjourned at 10:33 p.m.
The Board reconvened in open session at 10:34 p.m.
Mayor Young announced that the Board met in closed session to discuss real estate acquisition. The Board voted to authorize City Administrator Kuntz to continue negotiation on one parcel and to cease negotiations with J.B. Automotive and the Peterson family for their properties.
The Board also discussed issues of process and procedure for its operation.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Fleming to adjourn the open session. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 10:58 p.m.
Walter S. Young, Mayor
Robert A. Kuntz, City Administrator