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 and Budget Work Session

Meeting Agenda

Meeting Agenda click here

 

Meeting Minutes

MINUTES
2010 BUDGET WORK SESSION
City of Ballwin
October 26, 2009

The Budget Work Session for 2010 was called to order at 5:40 p.m. by Mayor Pogue.  In attendance were Aldermen Terbrock, McDowell, Suozzi, Schmer, Fleming, Leahy and Boerner.  Also in attendance were City Administrator Kuntz, Assistant City Administrator Aiken, Finance Officer Loehr, Chief of Police Schicker, Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer, Deputy Director of Parks Hoffman, Superintendent of Recreation Boone, and City Engineer Kramer.

City Administrator Kuntz provided an overview of the year-to-date revenue picture for the City and outlined the currently expected year-end status of fund reserves.  He stated that the 2010 budget proposal, as presently presented, does not propose to spend the AT&T or T-Mobil settlement funds that are expected to be received in 2009.  The proposed 2010 reserve draw of approximately $410,000 should be offset by these settlement funds, thereby allowing for no actual reserve draw in 2010. 

Alderman Boerner provided his analysis of revenues since 2008.  He explained that this analysis was done in an attempt to normalize these revenues so that the Board could better understand the revenue picture in this timeframe.  Between the special revenue receipts due to the legal settlements and the change in the budget format in 2009, it is difficult to trace these receipts and the associated expenditures to get a true picture of the decrease or increase in revenues over this timeframe.  He said that the 2010 budget reflects approximately a 14% reduction in sales tax revenues since the 2008 budget.

Alderman McDowell said that he wanted to talk about a service based organizational budget vs. a monetary based organizational budget.  City Administrator Kuntz said that he believes a performance base selects certain significant programs and funds those as needed and then funds the remaining programs as revenues are available.  A purely budget based approach tends to fund all programs equally and cuts all programs equally as revenues go down.  Alderman McDowell stated that he believes Ballwin has always been a service based organization, and needs to have a performance based approach to annual budgeting.

Alderman Boerner said that his analysis shows that Ballwin does not need to approach budgeting for 2010 in a crisis mode.  He said revenues have declined but they are not declining or expected to decline in such a way as to force the need for significant reductions in expenditures.

PARKS AND RECREATION

Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer introduced John Hoffman, Deputy Director of Parks, and Hedy Boone, Superintendent of Recreation.  She presented an overview of the proposed 2010 Parks and Recreation Department budget.

Alderman Schmer asked if the Golf Pro rents space from the City for the pro shop.  He said he understands that the Golf Pro owns and sells the products in his shop and that the City has no ownership and receives no percentage of the sales.  Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer said this is correct. 

Alderman Terbrock opposed in concept the idea of on-course advertising.  He said it is typically ugly and he noted that it is many times out of date at places where it is utilized.  Director Bruer said that the only advertising of this nature that is done on the Ballwin Golf Course is on the score cards.  She said that there are many additional locations possible, and that this is a potential revenue source.  Alderman McDowell said that perhaps the Golf Course should consider doing more of this in a tasteful and subtle manner, especially with local businesses. 

Alderman Schmer asked why any caterer would want to be on Ballwin’s list of preferred caterers for purposes of utilizing the Golf Clubhouse.  Director Bruer said that many local caterers are familiar with the facility, as are local residents.  It is close by and easy to use.  She said it is not unusual for people wanting to conduct an event to start with the caterer.  A caterer that has an agreement with the City would, therefore, direct people to the City for utilization of this facility.  Alderman Leahy asked if the caterer would be the one actually renting the facility.  Director Bruer said that the rental agreement would be with the individual hosting the party.  It was not her intent to create a system that turned the facility over to a caterer.

Alderman Schmer said that he has heard that rental of the Ballwin Clubhouse is more expensive than similarly situated facilities in the area.  Mayor Pogue said that when he was looking for a facility for a charitable organization, it was higher for him to rent the Ballwin Golf Club than it was the Museum of the Dog because Ballwin requires that all beverages be purchased through the facility and dispensed by Ballwin personnel.  In his situation, the beverages had been donated to his organization and he wanted to bring them into the facility.  Ballwin’s policies prohibit that.  Alderman McDowell suggested that perhaps the liquor liability insurance and licensing regulations limited Ballwin’s ability to allow alcoholic beverages to be brought into a facility.  Director Bruer stated that this was correct.  The licensing regulations and the insurance would be problematic if Ballwin allows users of the facility to bring in and dispense their own alcoholic beverages.  Director Bruer said that it is not necessary to sell beverages in order to rent the facility.  It is possible to have soft drinks only or beer/wine and exclude hard liquor or a full bar, in addition to no beverage facilities being offered.

Director Bruer said that in order to create a policy whereby Ballwin allowed renters of the facility to bring in their own alcoholic beverages, Ballwin would need to create a system of corkage fees in order to have some control over the dispensing of the alcoholic beverages.  To simply allow the beverages to be consumed without any control would invalidate the liquor liability insurance.

Alderman Boerner asked how many rental events were conducted in the clubhouse in 2008.  Deputy of Parks Hoffman said that there were approximately 63 paid and 58 unpaid events in 2008.  Alderman Boerner said that appeared to be a relatively high level of utilization since there are only approximately 100 weekend evenings a year that the facility can be leased.  Director Bruer agreed that the 2008 experience was pretty much the maximum utilization because of parking constraints at the facility.  Due to the shared parking with the Golf Clubhouse, it is not possible to conduct a daytime event during the golf season on a weekend, therefore, the facility is limited to a single evening event each day.  Although week night events are possible, there is very little interest in leasing the facility on those evenings.  Most unpaid events that take place in the facility are city-sponsored events and those are as much as possible guided toward week evenings when there is no competition for the facility.

Alderman Boerner praised the efforts of staff to reduce expenditures in the 2010 budget proposal over the 2009 budget proposal.  He said that if the city routinely budgets more than will be spent, the subsequent year reductions are somewhat questionable.  He believes that budgeting should be a more precise endeavor in which all costs are specifically noted and there is no excess funding in any line item.

Alderman Suozzi said that budget amounts are sometimes over what is actually necessary and sometimes less than what is actually necessary.  It can be difficult to be precise when it comes to bidding equipment and construction projects where there is an unknown element.  Additionally, sometimes expenditures that were planned at the time of budget are not made due to revenue situations or it being determined that the expenditure is unnecessary.  This may lead to the appearance of over-budgeting when, in fact, the original budget was tight.

Alderman Boerner asked if the proposal submitted by Director Bruer will result in a 100% recovery of operating expenses at the clubhouse.  Director Bruer stated that it would as long as the free city events that are scheduled for Friday and Saturday evenings are moved to different locations or different times and those slots are made available for rental-paying users.

Alderman Terbrock asked if the recently installed ultraviolet water purification system at the indoor pool at The Pointe has minimized the failure of the equipment as had been stated at the time of its installation.  He said that the 2009 budget proposed the replacement of the slide at the pool because of deterioration.  Director Bruer said that it has significantly reduced the amount of deterioration of metal surfaces in the pool environment, but the design of the slide is an old design and new facilities are not built in the same manner as they were at the time that this was put in place.  She said that much of the deterioration is related to the slide’s design rather than the environment in the pool building.  Alderman Schmer asked how many employee salaries and benefits are funded in the Building Systems program.  Director Bruer said that three full-time technicians, five full-time equivalent custodians, and part of the salaries of John Hoffman and herself are included in that program.

Alderman Terbrock asked where the City of Ballwin is positioned today in getting started on the construction of the trails recommended in the recent trails plan.  Director Bruer said they are making progress with the development of a trail through the Westglen Woods Subdivision common ground.  The first step in this progress is on the October 26, 2009 agenda of the Board of Aldermen for approval of professional service fees to conduct a survey and do a preliminary design.  City Administrator Kuntz said that Director Bruer and the Director of Parks for the City of Ellisville recently met with representatives of the Department of Natural Resources in the Klamburg Woods area, southwest of the City of Ballwin.  He said the State agreed to consider construction of a path extension from the path within Klamberg Woods in Ellisville to connect with the stub of Buckhurst Drive to allow connection to that recreational facility to Ballwin residents in this subdivision.

Adjourn:  Mayor Pogue adjourned the meeting at 7:03 p.m.

Tim Pogue, Mayor

ATTEST:

Robert Kuntz, City Administrator 


MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
CITY OF BALLWIN – 300 PARK DRIVE
October 26, 2009

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Pogue at 7:09 p.m.


             PRESENT                                                                           ABSENT
MAYOR TIM POGUE                                                       ALDERMAN KEN MELLOW (ILL)
ALDERMAN JIMMY TERBROCK
ALDERMAN PRESS MCDOWELL 
ALDERMAN JANE SUOZZI 
ALDERMAN FRANK SCHMER 
ALDERMAN FRANK FLEMING 
ALDERMAN JIM LEAHY 
ALDERMAN RICHARD BOERNER 
CITY ADMINISTRATOR ROBERT KUNTZ 
CITY ATTORNEY ROBERT E. JONES 

The Pledge of Allegiance was given.

MINUTES

The Minutes of the October 12 Budget Work Session were submitted for approval.  A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to approve the Minutes.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.

The Minutes of the October 12, 2009 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval.  A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to approve the Minutes.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.

PRESENTATION
None.

PENDING ISSUES
None.

CITIZEN COMMENTS

Ron Markland, 15908 Wetherburn Rd.:  Mr. Markland requested that the $500 charge for the public records that he has requested be waived.  He said that these records will prove if the city is or is not in compliance with its own policies and the State of Missouri.  He said that this is in the interest of the public and that that citizens’ tax dollars were used to prepare the documents and to pay for the purchases.  He said it is difficult to understand that it took 25 hours to obtain the records of 28 purchase orders.  He said the purpose of the Freedom of Information Act and the Missouri Sunshine Law is to provide transparency and allow the public knowledge of the actions that the governing authorities are taking.

Jim Nelson, 15961 Downall Green Drive:  Mr. Nelson said that Ballwin has resisted disclosure of purchasing records.  He said that if the $500 charge is not paid, no records will be provided.  He said that Alderman Schmer stated that he and Mr. Markland are acting in the height of hypocrisy for asking to have the costs waived.  He asked if Mr. Schmer, a business owner, is in the habit of buying his products sight unseen and quality unknown from a supplier he has reason to distrust.  He said that it is in the hands of the Board to make a simple, constructive, and wise decision to show transparency and accountability. 

Alderman Schmer said that until Mr. Nelson and Mr. Markland feel that the transparency is being met, they will continue to address the Board on this issue.  Alderman Schmer offered to personally split the fee and he will write a check for $250, Mr. Nelson and Mr. Markland pay $250, and they can have the documents. 

Mr. Nelson asked if anyone on the Board has seen the documents.  Mayor Pogue said that the documents consist of about 1,700 pages.  The Board had previously seen these documents as the associated purchases were presented to the Board for approval. 

Alderman McDowell said that Mr. Nelson is making a public statement, and the Board has not made a commitment on this issue.  He suggested that if negotiations are necessary, they should take place outside of this meeting.  Mayor Pogue agreed. 

Jeff Gidday, 15963 Cypress Trace Drive:  Mr. Gidday said that he believes there has been unreasonable action on the part of the City of Ballwin officials to prevent the transparent disclosure of public documents regarding purchasing records.  He said that the city’s refusal to allow review of public documents regarding purchasing in 2009 to date appears to be an attempt to prevent those records from being exposed to the public.  He presented to the City Clerk petitions containing 105 signatures for the Missouri Sunshine Law request for documentation of the purchases made by Ballwin.  He said that the documents should be made immediately available.  He said that he will provide more petitions if necessary or present this issue to the media.  He said that the Board’s continued intransigence on this matter may come back to haunt them in the near future.  He also said he did not receive a reply to his e-mail on October 15 to the Mayor and Board about the closing of Straubs. 
(NOTE: The petitions presented by Mr. Gidday were then given to City Attorney Jones.)

J. C. Hagan, 209 Cool Meadows:  Mr. Hagan said he has played golf on courses all over the country.  He said that not only is the Ballwin Golf Course the best in this area, it is the best, period.  It is the best run golf course and kept up very well.  On a minimum budget, it brings in a lot of people from outside the city and gives a favorable impression of the services the city provides.  The clubhouse is one of the best run clubhouses that he is aware of.  He said that the Golf Pro Dave Furlong sets the tone for the staff.  He oversees a lot of the golf course conditions to insure that the quality is maintained and that citizens have a very enjoyable place to play golf.  He asked that the Ballwin Golf Club employees be thanked for the outstanding job that they do.

Marissa VanLeuven, 126 Caybeth:  Miss Van Leuven said that she is a 4th grade student at Westridge Elementary School.  She said the school should have a parking lot in front of the school instead of just a street.  Students use half of the parking lot as a playground.  She said that she and her friends are not safe.  Staff and teachers park their vehicles on the parking lot.  Some park their cars on the rocky area.  When people don’t want to park there, they park on the street.  

Diana VanLeuven, 126 Caybeth:  Mrs. Van Leuven said she is on the Rockwood School Foundation Board and the parent of a Westridge student.  She said there is miscommunication between the school, the construction team, and the City of Ballwin.  She asked that Bill 3596 be tabled to give everyone more time to consider all of the issues surrounding the parking lot.  She is in favor of sustainable pavement and there are other options that can be considered.  She said she would like to participate in further discussions regarding the front-yard parking ordinance at Westridge School. 

Mayor Pogue said that the Planning & Zoning Commission discussions were mainly focused on storm water control.  The recommendation from the Commission at the first meeting with Rockwood was for it to look at providing storm water control to prevent more problems along Fishpot Creek.  The construction company said that there was no interest or willingness to do this.  This is what spurred the negative recommendation from the Planning & Zoning Commission.  He said he does not believe that this action was against the parking lot.  It was a concern over storm water control.  He asked that Bill 3596 be tabled to give Rockwood and their construction team time to look into this issue and present a solution.

Mayor Pogue asked City Attorney Jones if this would have to be reconsidered by Planning & Zoning.  City Attorney Jones said it would have to go back to Planning & Zoning if it was significantly different from what the Commission had considered.  City Administrator Kuntz said that if the Board received some compelling alternatives, the Board can take this into consideration in their vote.  The Board has the authority to overturn the Commission’s recommendation with 6 votes to do this. 

City Attorney Jones said that the resubmission to the Planning & Zoning Commission could be 30 days or longer.  Unless the petitioner is looking for a different kind of recommendation, he believes it would not be necessary to go back to Planning & Zoning.  He said if they are looking for direction from Planning & Zoning other than what has already been given, it could take 60 days.  A radical change in the detention basin would be a change in the plan.  This won’t be known until a different design is presented. 

Alderman Suozzi said that Fishpot Creek not only floods, but the storm water system in the area around Westridge, as well as the homes on Vlasis and Smith Drive which are on the other side and down the creek, are all impacted by the storm water that feeds into that creek.  She said the creek floods and the storm water system backs up into the homes.  She said when the school was built, there were no storm water regulations, therefore, there is no storm water control on that property today.  She said the Board is trying to be sensitive to the need for storm water control because the problem exists.  She said she does not have a problem with tabling Bill 3596 for more consideration and discussion.  Mayor Pogue said that storm water control is always discussed with developers. 

Alderman McDowell said that he does not want to table Bill 3596 if the new proposal has to go back to Planning & Zoning.  He said he would like to have information about the type of proposal that may be made.  City Attorney Jones said that the Board of Aldermen can always ask for direction from Planning & Zoning. 

Alderman Fleming said that there has been a lot of discussion back and forth, the school is perhaps not unwilling to figure out something, and this Board is not trying to play hardball on this matter.  He asked if the Board can send this back to Planning & Zoning for reconsideration.  City Attorney Jones said the petitioner is entitled to have the Board of Aldermen make a decision on the petition that has been submitted.  Unless the petitioner asks that it not be voted upon, that is what should be done. 

The representative for the petitioner, Rockwood School District, Steve Smith, with Glen Construction Company, said that it is not within Rockwood’s budget to go beyond what has been proposed.  He said that they are willing to participate in further discussions.  Mr. Smith said that the initial report was for a standard parking lot and fit within the budget.  This project would be paid for with savings from summer 2009 projects that are paid for by the Rockwood 2008 bond issue. 

Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that the original proposal was to let the water run off the parking lot into the grassy field.  His concern was that there wasn’t an adequate slope on the property to carry the water toward the creek, and a soggy area could be created.  He recommended a regrading for more positive drainage to the creek with the swale being a rain garden to allow water to be collected and infiltrate, but with enough drainage that the water would not become stagnant. 

Mr. Smith said he would like the engineer for Rockwood to meet with Mr. Aiken and show that the swale does do what it is designed to do.  He said that he agrees to go along with Mr. Aiken’s recommendations.  The drawings do not include an area that goes all the way to the creek.  This needs to be reviewed by the engineer and meet with Mr. Aiken. 

Alderman McDowell suggested that Bill 3596 be tabled for more discussion.  Alderman Pogue asked the petitioner, Mr. Smith, if he is willing to have the proposal sent back to the Planning & Zoning Commission and not be voted on at this meeting.  Mr. Smith agreed. 

Alderman Boerner asked if Mr. Smith is an official representative of the Rockwood School District.  Mr. Smith said that his business name is Glen Construction and is the Rockwood agent in construction matters.  This project has a budget set by Rockwood.  He said he does not have authority to spend Rockwood’s money.  They set the budget and he follows it. 

A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Schmer to table Bill 3596 and send it back to the Planning & Zoning Commission for its review and recommendation to the Board.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.

PUBLIC HEARINGS
None.

NEW BUSINESS

LEGISLATION

BILL # 3595 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 3-3 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN WITH RESPECT TO THE POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL BY MINORS.

A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Terbrock for a first reading of Bill No. 3595.   A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.  Bill No. 3595 was read for the first time.

Alderman Fleming asked in Section 1, where did the 2/100 percent originate.  City Attorney Jones said that this is from Missouri Statutes. 

A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Fleming for a second reading of Bill No. 3595.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.  Bill No. 3595 was read for the second time.

A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3595 with the following results: 
Ayes – Suozzi, McDowell, Fleming, Schmer, Boerner, Terbrock, Leahy.  Nays – None.  Bill No. 3595 was approved and became Ordinance No. 09-38.

BILL # 3596 - AN ORDINANCE GRANTING A SPECIAL USE EXCEPTION TO ROCKWOOD SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR FRONT YARD PARKING.

(Bill 3596 was tabled under Citizen Comments.)

BILL # 3597 - AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING AN AGREEMENT WITH ST. LOUIS COUNTY FOR COMPUTER-AIDED REPORT ENTRY SERVICES.

A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Suozzi for a first reading of Bill No. 3597.   A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.  Bill No. 3597 was read for the first time.

A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Fleming for a second reading of Bill No. 3597.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.  Bill No. 3597 was read for the second time.

A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3597 with the following results: 
Ayes – Suozzi, Terbrock, Fleming, Leahy, Boerner, Schmer, McDowell.  Nays – None.  Bill No. 3597 was approved and became Ordinance No. 09-39.

A RESOLUTION FOR GRANT APPLICATION FOR RECREATION FACILITY IMPROVEMENTS.

A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Schmer to amend Item 4 to state, “If a grant is awarded for all costs of the Pointe Indoor Pool Slide Tower and Stairs, the City of Ballwin will enter into an agreement or contract with the Commission regarding said grant.”  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.

A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to adopt the Resolution as amended.  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.)

A. Athletic Flooring.  Request for Proposals were sent to 5 flooring contractors, and also placed on Reed Construction Data, Dodge Reports, St. Louis Business Journal, and the City website.  Three proposals were received. Recommend award to low bidder, Henges Interiors in the amount of $6,721.60.  The budgeted amount was $7,028.00.

A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman McDowell to accept the Consent Item.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.

MAYOR’S REPORT

Schnuck’s Markets:  Mayor Pogue said that he received a letter from Scott Schnuck expressing Schnuck Markets’ continued commitment to the development of the store that was approved on June 22, 2009, and also that it is having discussions with the owners of Ballwin Plaza concerning improvements of the store in this shopping center. 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT

City Administrator Kuntz asked to hold over the discussion on Street Lighting, Purchasing Policy, Surplus Property policies, and 123 Lyons (1 Ballpark Drive) due to the absence of Alderman Mellow.  He said that there will not be a budget session scheduled prior to the next Board meeting.  The Board agreed.

Street Lighting:  (Held over for discussion at the next Board meeting).

Purchasing Policy:  (Held over for discussion at the next Board meeting).

Surplus Property:  (Held over for discussion at the next Board meeting).

Trail Plan:  City Administrator Kuntz said an application for grant funding has been discussed for construction grants for trails that were funded by the 1/10 cent park tax or the Meramec Greenway Association.  To be eligible, a plan must be in place as to where the trail is going to go, a survey, and specific data.  He said that the proposal is $14,500.  The budgeted amount was $30,000 in 2009.  The trustees in the subdivision have endorsed the project. 

Alderman Fleming asked if bid requests were sent out on this project.  City Administrator Kuntz said no because this is for a professional service contract, however, this is an option.  The cost will be in excess of $5,000.  Alderman Fleming said that without bids, we could be closing out other alternatives.  Mayor Pogue said that other designers should be consulted. 

A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi to send this item out to bid.  The Board agreed.

Richland Meadows:  City Administrator Kuntz said the 20 miles per hour speed limit was established at this location with a one-year expiration.  The 20 miles per hour speed limit is unique to residential streets in Ballwin since the normal posted speed is usually 25 miles per hour.  Additional legislation is necessary for this speed limit to remain in effect. 

Alderman Boerner said he has not heard any complaints and there have been no accidents.

A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Leahy to prepare legislation to renew the current speed limit at this location for one year.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.

123 Lyons (1 Ballpark Drive):  Alderman Fleming said that he would like to discuss this real estate issue in closed session even though Alderman Mellow is not in attendance.  The Board agreed.

Business Plan:  City Administrator Kuntz said that Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer provided an operating plan for the Golf Clubhouse.  He said it is recommended that this Business Plan, as set forth in the proposal, be authorized so that staff can begin to solicit interested and local preferred caterers and make some of the changes that are reflected in the Plan regarding fees and operations. 

A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Fleming to accept the Business Plan for the Golf Clubhouse.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.

CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
None.

ALDERMANIC COMMENTS

City Records:  Alderman McDowell said that any issues regarding the records for the City of Ballwin be referred to City Attorney Jones to handle the request and correspondence.  City Administrator Kuntz said that he consulted City Attorney Jones throughout the recent records request confusion.

Alderman Boerner said that the City’s auditing firm conducts an evaluation and examination of the transactions during the annual audit.  They check to see that the transactions are in compliance with State laws and the City’s ordinances.  He said that in the past he requested information from the city.  He said he expected to have to pay a fee for the requested documents, and he did.  He does not believe that anyone would expect the aldermen to evaluate every transaction that goes through the city.  The Board oversees many of the transactions.  The auditors are paid to do this and to make sure the numbers are reasonable. 

Alderman Fleming said he agrees with Alderman Boerner.  He said that he would be in favor of giving Mr. Markland the documentation that was gathered, at no cost, with the understanding that apparently there was miscommunication regarding copying and research fees when the request was made.  As long as it is understood that any future requests, including the 105 on the petitions, are subject to payment as provided under the Sunshine Law, he is willing to give Mr. Markland the documents.  He said he is not willing to waive the fee in the interest of public transparency because there is enough information in the Minutes of the meetings and audited financial statements without requiring the city staff to spend hours and hours gathering additional information. 

Alderman Terbrock asked if the 28 purchases were documented in the 1,700 pages.  City Administrator Kuntz said yes.  The documents consist of all of the bid specifications, requests for proposals and all documentation.  These materials were on a disc.  The Finance Department spent many hours pulling the information from different places.  We don’t have a central Purchasing Department to instantly retrieve this information.

City Attorney Jones said that the ordinance only permits the City Administrator to waive the fee, not the Board of Aldermen.  City Administrator Kuntz said that if the Board directs him to waive the fee, he will do this.  City Attorney Jones said that a restriction should not be put on the City Administrator’s discretion because there may be times, if it truly is in the public interest, he may choose to waive the fee.  He said city regulations specifically state the cost of copying and research.  On the first request from Mr. Markland, the information was given at no cost and he came into the office to see the documents. 

Alderman McDowell said that the petitioner has made a request that in the public interest, the two individuals requesting 20 hours of information from the city, to be reviewed by themselves, is not in the public interest.  He said if that is the case, any individual can request years of documents, stating that this is in the public interest.  He said he will not let the Board be pressured into a situation where substantial information has to be given out at the City’s expense in order to prove innocence to an unsupported allegation.  He said this Board has taken proper procedures and process and he stands behind those procedures.  Mr. Markland has the option to pay $500 for the information.  This is the standard for any citizen in the City of Ballwin.  He said the public interest is not being justified by two individuals requesting information.  The Board should stand behind its procedures and guidelines and things are done in a decent and orderly fashion.  He said he will not vote to amend the fee. 

Alderman Schmer said that his offer still exists for him to pay $250 toward the documents for Mr. Markland. 

Mr. Jim Nelson said that the Sunshine Laws requires that the city respond to the 105 requests.  He said if an individual makes the request, the fee should be paid.  If it is determined that it is in the best interest of a large group of people in the community, the fee can be waived.  He said there are now 105 individuals that the city will have to respond to by law.  If the Board decides to have Mr. Markland look at the documents, the 105 people can be told that a meeting was held, it has been determined that it is in the public interest that in view of the large number of requests for this information, it is made available to Mr. Markland. 

Alderman Boerner said that it was his request, but he was representing 8,000 people.

A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Leahy to give Mr. Markland the documents that have been gathered, at no cost, with the understanding that future requests are chargeable as permitted under the Sunshine Law.  A voice vote was taken with the following result:  Aye:  Fleming, Leahy.  Nay:  McDowell, Terbrock, Schmer, Suozzi, Boerner.  The motion failed by a vote of 2-5.

Adjourn to Closed Session:  A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to adjourn to closed session to discuss real estate.  A roll call vote was taken with the following results:  Ayes:  Aldermen Boerner, Fleming, Leahy, Suozzi, Schmer, Terbrock, McDowell.  Nays:  None.  The motion passed to adjourn to closed session at 8:10 p.m. 

Closed Session:
The Board convened in closed session to discuss real estate at 8:20 p.m. 

The topic specifically related to the options of transferring ownership of a city-owned parcel to the Ballwin Athletic Association.  After considerable debate and discussion, it was determined that no action would be taken at this time.

A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to adjourn the closed session.  A roll call vote was taken with a unanimous result, and the closed session was adjourned at 8:55 p.m.

The Board reconvened in open session at 8:57 p.m.

Alderman Fleming suggested that the Historical Commission be formally recognized for their efforts.  City Administrator Kuntz agreed and suggested that all individuals and donors also be recognized who made a contribution. 

Adjourn:  A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Leahy to adjourn the open session.  The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

TIM POGUE, MAYOR

ATTEST:
ROBERT A. KUNTZ, CITY ADMINISTRATOR

MC