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
MINUTES OF THE 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 February 25, 2008 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Chief of Police: City Administrator Kuntz introduced Captain Steve Schicker as the new Chief of Police, for the City of Ballwin. Captain Schicker has been with the Ballwin Police Department for 29 years. He served in a variety of capacities from the Detective Bureau through the ranks of Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, and currently as Acting Chief of Police, replacing former Chief of Police Jim Biederman, who retired in December, 2007. Mr. Schicker is a graduate of Maryville College and the FBI National Academy. City Administrator Kuntz said he is totally confident that Steve will do an excellent job for the community, as well as the men and women who serve in the Ballwin Police Department. The Oath of Office was administered to Chief of Police Steve Schicker.
Great Streets Initiative: David Wilson, Senior Manager for Environment and Community Planning with East/West Gateway, spoke regarding the Great Streets Initiative. He said there will be a chartering session on April 3 from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. at the Ballwin Golf Club, which will hopefully host representatives from the five cities along Manchester Road and the Chamber of Commerce. He said that proper street design will support and enhance the quality of life in the community, and economic development.
Mr. Wilson said that Manchester Road has increasingly underutilized commercial space and a shifting retail model. Local businesses are losing sales tax revenue from the Manchester Road corridor. There are vacant properties, some are under-utilized, and the Ballwin tax base is affected. There is an identity issue in the corridor. He said when there are lots of driveways into and out of different properties, the lack of access management creates conflict on the road. This also affects pedestrian safety. There may be a need to restructure land use, development, and design in order to address these issues. Existing land use patterns can remain and expect to cope with changes that are being forced from outside, or developments can be put at the major intersections where there is the highest traffic count to attract people into their quarters. He advised to think pro-actively how the changing pattern, in terms of investment, may affect the area and to plan accordingly.
Alderman Suozzi asked how many video games will be needed. Mr. Mueller said that 20 – 25 coin operated games will be needed. Alderman Robinson asked about construction. Mr. Mueller said that the outside of the building will not be drastically changed, but the front awning will be removed.
Alderman Robinson asked what will be the percentage of food business to the game business. Mr. Mueller said that approximately 80+% food to 20% games. He said he does not have a problem with the smoking ordinance. He said he recently sold a bar and grill in Wildwood so that he could move forward with this project in Ballwin.
Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that in the current code, there are a small number of business that are allowed to have amusement devices, but none are allowed more than three. He said that the last time the issue of this limit arose was in the 1980s. The Board at that time was unwilling to amend the code. Several aspects of the code are obsolete, such as zoning district classifications that are no longer valid and a regional mall. He said a formula could be created where more than 3 amusement devices could be allowed. If this is done in conjunction with a use like a restaurant, the potential negative aspects could be kept under control. He said that an ordinance could be drafted for consideration that will make the necessary changes. This is a zoning ordinance regulation, therefore, changes will have to go to the Planning & Zoning Commission. This could be placed on the same agenda as Mr. Mueller’s petition.
Alderman Pogue said that this is an opportunity to become more accommodating to certain businesses. He said he is in favor of looking into this matter. Alderman Kerlagon said that Alderman Lembke is in favor of this also. Alderman Fleming said that he is in favor of finding ways to accommodate this request.
A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Kerlagon to send this matter to the Planning & Zoning Commission for review. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Tom Connelly, Attorney, representing Dura Seal Paving Contractor Company: Mr. Connelly asked that the Board reconsider the action taken at the February 25 Board meeting, wherein the Board rescinded an offer made on a contract that had already been accepted. He presented written documents to the Board, and he explained why he believes the Board was misinformed and why the alleged previous complaints were filed with the State. He said that the deadline for all paperwork was March 7. That was complied with. He said he has no knowledge of a letter of testimony that was supposedly presented to the Labor Board. He said that Dura Seal has always complied with the minimum wage provision. There are classifications within the minimum wage provisions which could cause confusion.
City Attorney Jones requested permission to review the written comments that Mr. Connelly supplied to the Board, and report back. He said that he will give to Mr. Connelly a copy of the letter of testimony that was received at the last meeting. The Board agreed.
BILL # 3521 - AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR SPECIAL ENFORCEMENT AREAS WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN, MISSOURI, AND PROVIDING INCREASED PENALTIES FOR MOVING MOTOR VEHICLE VIOLATIONS.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Robinson for a first reading of Bill No. 3521. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3521 was read for the first time.
Alderman Fleming said that Clayworth should be included in the ordinance. City Administrator Kuntz said that Clayworth (from Henry Road to Woods Mill Road) and Windcliffe (from Ries Bend to Portwind) should be added to the bill, but they are included in the Policy. By an amendment, this will be included in the bill.
Alderman Fleming said that Section 3 notes that signs will be posted in areas as needed to be reviewed annually by the Board of Aldermen. He said that if the Board chose to put a street on the list, this can be done, but will be reviewed annually. He asked if a request can be made one time per year. City Administrator Kuntz said that any motion at any time can amend the policy. He asked if it would be appropriate to describe this in Section 3 in addition to an annual review. Any member of the Board may do this at their discretion. City Administrator Kuntz said that the preamble to the Policy Manual states that the purpose of the Manual is to provide policy guidelines, and it can be amended at any time by a simple majority vote.
City Attorney Jones said that it could be stated “to be reviewed at least annually by the Board of Aldermen”. Alderman Fleming said that, in his judgment, the Stop Sign Policy hasn’t worked, and he is afraid that this will be another ineffective policy. He does not see a way for a citizen’s group to petition at any time to get a street on the list. He said he wants an easier way to add a street to the list.
Alderman Buermann said that he disagrees regarding the Stop Sign Policy. This policy was enacted because of the safety issue. There are many issues associated with stop signs. They are not speed control devices. He said that this is an effective policy because it goes through two branches of the City Government.
Alderman Fleming said that he retracts his statement that the Stop Sign Policy is ineffective. He said that it is difficult for a citizen’s group to use to get action.
Alderman Pogue said that an ordinance can be rewritten at any time as long as the number of votes for passage are obtained.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a second reading of Bill No. 3521, as amended. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3521 was read for the second time.
Alderman Robinson clarified the amendment to state “at least annually”, which is correct.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3521 with the following results:
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. Golf Carts
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to accept the Consent Items. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Security Measures: City Administrator Kuntz said that security is a top priority in and on city property. Many suggestions have been received and evaluated. This requires a lot of logical long-term thinking, and be a short term knee-jerk reaction that could provide a false sense of security only to create inefficiencies. An initial step would be the installation of security cameras that are audio and visually monitored in the Dispatch center. He said the purpose is to give a sense of security and also provide a welcome environment for the people in the audience. Police Chief Schicker and Captain Saulters agree with this first phase of security measures. He said that this can be done with long term impact and cost-effective. He said that the entry would be included in the camera coverage and the front of the building. A competitive price quote has been received. He said there will be more suggestions in the future.
Alderman Buermann said that cameras are not going to make people feel safer in this room. City Administrator Kuntz said that in addition to video, audio is part of the proposal. This is the initial recommendation to, in a non-intrusive way, create a bit of an enhancement to the environment. Alderman Buermann said that this is a knee-jerk reaction and there should be a overall plan, not just in phases. The safety measures in place now, and proposed, may be enough or may not be enough to protect anyone. He said doing this piece meal could cost thousands and thousands of dollars. City Administrator Kuntz said that this is one of the more measured and restrained proposals of any that he has heard.
Alderman Pogue said that he agrees with Alderman Buermann. He believes the inside cameras would be ineffective. Alderman Kerlagon said that he feels safe in the Board room, however, he said a more thought-out plan, a master plan, should be presented to the Board.
Alderman Fleming said the cost of the cameras is reasonable and makes an attempt to address the situation. He asked that while security measures are in process, citizen groups working on behalf of Ballwin should be offered the option of a uniformed officer being present. He said the officer in the Board room for Board of Aldermen meetings is a department head.
Mayor Young said that at the Municipal League Mayors meeting, it was a consensus that everyone, and the recommendation of police officers in attendance, that an overall plan should be formulated for each city’s operation.
Alderman Robinson said that measures can be taken to make the Board room safer. He said it’s always appropriate to review safety procedures. Doing nothing is the worst approach. He said he approves of the cameras and consider the best ways to keep this building safe for Ballwin. When people don’t feel safe, government is lost.
Alderman Terbrock said he’s undecided if cameras are a good idea. He said he wants to see a master plan. There should be no knee-jerk reaction in the safety of staff and the citizens in this room.
Alderman Suozzi suggested that the Public Health & Safety Committee formulate a master plan. City Administrator Kuntz said that if there are further suggestions, it will be presented.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Robinson to authorize City Administrator Kuntz to install cameras. A roll call vote was taken with the following result: Ayes: Suozzi, Robinson, Terbrock, Fleming. Nays: Pogue, Kerlagon, Buermann. The motion passed by a vote of 4-3.
Property Tax: City Administrator Kuntz presented the letter for Board member signatures to be sent to the Ballwin residents. Alderman Robinson suggested that the Q&A document be included with the letter. City Administrator Kuntz said that it could be included with the letter, but it will be on the website, and mailing will be costly. The letter reflects everyone’s input, but the Q&A may not. Alderman Suozzi said that having the Q&A on the website is adequate. Some residents will be overwhelmed with too much information in a mailed out version. If their questions are not answered in the letter, they can go to the websites for the answers. Mayor Young said that the proposed letter is simple, direct, and factual.
City Administrator Kuntz said that the letter will go to the post office by March 24 or 25, without the Q&A. He said the Q&A will be made available on the website and also in the lobby. It will not be included in the mailing.
Alderman Robinson believes that the Q&A should be included with the letter. An informal poll of the Board indicated that 6 Aldermen did not want to include the Q&A with the letter, while Alderman Robinson wanted it included with the letter.
Mayor Young suggested that several items on the Q&A be clarified. Aldermen Buermann, Kerlagon, and Mayor Young agreed to review the document for clarification. The Board agreed to this review.
Double Fine Zones Policy: It was agreed, during the discussion with Bill # 3521, to approve the policy with the inclusion of “at least annually” in Section 3-Annual Review, paragraph 1.
Municipal Judge Annual Review: City Administrator Kuntz said that this personnel closed session will take place at the March 24 meeting at 6:15 p.m.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Goose Control: Alderman Robinson said that the Goose control program is basically having dogs run the geese out. He said that he stated years ago that this is taking your trash and throwing it over the fence into your neighbor’s yard. He said that a lot of the subdivisions in Ward 3 are complaining about increased geese presence in the ponds, swimming pools, in the areas in their subdivisions. He said that the way to get rid of the problem is to get rid of the geese and not to run them into someone else’s back yard. He suggested a more aggressive approach. This is an approach that has been approved by the State. He said a method should be authorized to exterminate the geese and then relocate the younger geese. City Administrator Kuntz said to relocate the geese, for the record, through the State’s approved program. Alderman Robinson said that, calling it what it is, this is actually killing the adult geese. City Administrator Kuntz said that Ballwin would not be doing the killing of the geese. Alderman Robinson said that the killed geese would then be packaged for food. He said that he does not have a problem with the hunter mentality and recommended to proceed along those lines. City Administrator Kuntz said that a motion is necessary to apply to the State for a permit for a “roundup”, as was done about 3 or 4 years ago, but the Board voted it down. Alderman Robinson made this motion. There was no second to the motion. The motion died for lack of a second.
Legislation (County, State, and other): Alderman Fleming suggested that the Board think more seriously about legislation that comes from the State, County, or otherwise. In the most recent municipal update, there is a bill at the State level that talks about half of auto sales tax going to the dealer city. Most tax goes to the purchaser’s city. This will go to committee on March 12. Another is that fines collected from red light cameras go to schools. He said another house bill talks about the ending of the sharing of sales tax from A to B cities. A cities would contribute 8% of the 1% tax to the County. He suggested a form letter be sent to the representatives that cover Ballwin and let them know how we specifically feel on these issues. There are things that could be good or bad for Ballwin. The representatives are not asking the Board about these issues. He also asked at what point should action be taken because the issue doesn’t seem to be a benefit to Ballwin. He said some of the legislation will affect city revenues.
City Administrator Kuntz said that a lot these bills do not have any traction. Until it receives a committee assignment, it’s early to do much. He said he monitors these issues. Close to the end of the session, legislative alerts will be received. He has spoken to the Executive Director of the Missouri Municipal League about the Fenton bill on the sale tax. He said that these items can be listed on the agenda under his report, and ask for aldermanic action. A vote can be taken and then report that at last night’s meeting, this was discussed by unanimous vote and the Board authorized me to tell you this, and then track it. He said that this is frustrating because the legislators tell us what they don’t like about some ordinances and why it should be changed, but there is never a phone call regarding what affects us at the State level. Alderman Fleming said that it’s not a bad idea to send the legislators letters reminding them to stay away from Ballwin’s revenues.
Alderman Fleming asked if this wait until there is an alert status. Alderman Fleming said that the legislators should be notified of Ballwin’s opinion immediately. City Administrator Kuntz said that this information can be included in the Activity Report and can be added to the agenda. He said that aldermanic phone calls can also do more good than a form letter. Alderman Fleming said that there are people representing Ballwin that might not be supporting legislation that helps Ballwin. He suggested that this information be included in the City Administrator’s monthly report.
Alderman Robinson suggested sending a letter now regarding the red light cameras. Alderman Fleming said that we don’t have enough information at this time to voice an objection.
Comprehensive Plan Assignments Proposed: Alderman Fleming suggested that when Mayor Young re-assigns aldermanic committees in May, that sections of the Comprehensive Plan be included in the assignments so that this is not just a binder of information. He said that Chapter 9 is the summary of the Comprehensive Plan. He suggested that the Comprehensive Plan chapters be assigned to the different committees. Alderman Buermann suggested that the members of the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee could be included.
Closed Session: A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Robinson to discuss possible litigation. A roll call vote was taken with the following result: Ayes: Suozzi, Fleming, Buermann, Pogue, Kerlagon, Terbrock, Robinson. Nays: None.
The motion passed to adjourn to closed session at 8:42 p.m.
The Board convened in closed session at 8:45 p.m.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to adjourn the closed session. A roll call vote was taken with a unanimous result, and the closed session was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.
The Board reconvened in open session at 9:02 p.m.
Mayor Young announced that the Board met in closed session to discuss possible litigation. No votes were taken.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Pogue to adjourn the open session. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 9:04 p.m.
WALTER S. YOUNG, MAYOR