Board of Aldermen Meeting Agendas & Minutes
Every effort is made to ensure that the Agendas and Minutes provided on this and subsequent pages is timely and correct; however, users should keep in mind that this information is provided only as a public convenience. In any case where legal reliance on information is required, the official records of the City of Ballwin should be consulted.
The Board of Aldermen meet on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the Board Room of the Ballwin Government Center, 1 Government Ctr. Schedule and place subject to change. Meetings are open to the public. All citizens are urged to attend.
Board of Aldermen Meeting
Meeting Agenda click here
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
January 11, 2010
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Pogue at 7:05 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
Olivia Pieknik, 385 Walnut Point Ct.: Ms. Pieknik said she 30 years ago, she and her family arrived in New York City as refugees from Vietnam. They left Vietnam after the fall of Sigon in 1975. After 4 years of living under communist control government, they escaped by boat and spent 7 months in a refugee camp. Her dad said that America will be their home and they will be productive citizens. She said her dad worked as a dishwasher and she worked in a factory. They attended English classes in the evening. She said that they did not expect handouts from the government or special treatment. Her family did not believe in taking from the rich and giving to the poor because that is the way the Vietnamese operated. She said her family became United States citizens in 1986. She said the proudest and happiest moment in her life was when she was able to vote in the presidential election. She said that 30 years later, she, her brother and sister graduated from college, pay American taxes, and own homes. She believes that America is still the land of opportunity and she is proud to be an American. She believes in the strength of this nation, the generosity, and the goodness of the American people. America will always be the shining beacon of freedom and liberty. She said we should be grateful for the military men and women who give their lives for freedom, not only to America, but to the entire world. God bless America.
Ron Markland, 15908 Wetherburn Rd.: Mr. Markland addressed the purchasing policy proposal. He questioned the extent of the new policy. He said this appears to be an effort to correct previous problems, but wonders if it goes far enough to eliminate the internal problems which previously allowed employees to circumvent the competitive bidding criteria by writing the requests for proposals in a manner that was either restrictive in nature or the apparent jumping over low bids to obtain a preferred source. He asked if the City has notified the Dodge Construction Reports of their RFPs, since this is a major information source directed to construction contractors. He said he believes that not enough effort is being placed to gather multiple proposals from qualified contractors. He said that it would be wonderful to see that a penalty of loss of employment on the first occurrence was a consequence of failure to follow both the letter and intent of the ordinances.
Mayor Pogue said that staff regularly publishes RFPs in the Dodge Reports.
Jim Nelson, 15961 Downall Green Drive: Mr. Nelson alleged that Ballwin illegally approved the formation of the Schnucks TDD. He said that this was all done in closed session with no record of the evening occurring. He alleged that City Attorney Jones’ firm has a conflict of interest regarding the Schnucks TDD. He stated that City Attorney Jones and his firm have represented Schnucks Markets and/or their legal entities for over a decade, and have received substantial income from this representation, which continued well into the past year. At the same time, Mr. Jones was providing legal advice and direction to the Board of Aldermen that when enacted, would clearly result in considerable financial benefit to Schnucks. He said that if Mr. Jones’ advice and direction to the Board on either the rezoning matter or the TDD had run contrary to those of Schnucks, the law firm’s future relationship with Schnucks could be jeopardized as could his future earnings. He said that these are serious conflict of interest issues. He recommended that the city immediately engage an independent counsel who is versed in both legal ethics and the Sunshine Law to give guidance as to whether Mr. Jones has acted in accordance with the ABA Model Code of Professional Responsibility and the Missouri Supreme Court Rules of Professional Conduct and as to Ballwin’s future course of action.
Robert Klein, 2452 Capitol Landing: Mr. Klein said the Board should take a hard look at themselves and ask each other if they are truly serving the residents of Ballwin. He said that the $9 million held in reserve is troubling for many residents. They were told that Ballwin was in dire need of additional income, even though the new Schnucks store development will destroy his neighborhood. He said the residents were told that it was necessary to pass a property tax in order to fund the shortfalls in revenue needed to operate the city. He said that Alderman Suozzi stated that Ballwin’s income streams do not look diversified enough for outside lending agencies. He asked what does the City intend to borrow money for? He believes that the only reason the Schnucks development was approved was to store more of the citizens money in the Ballwin Reserve Account. He said that for some reason, the Board of Aldermen think that the citizens’ money looks better in the city treasury than in the residents’ bank accounts.
BILL # 3608 - AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE CITY OF BALLWIN TO ENTER INTO AND EXECUTE A CONTRACT WITH ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI FOR THE MOSQUITO CONTROL SERVICE AND AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN TO ENTER INTO, ON BEHALF OF SAID CITY, A CONTRACT WITH ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI FOR MOSQUITO CONTROL SERVICE.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi for a first reading of Bill 3608.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Leahy for a first reading of Bill No. 3609. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3609 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Leahy for a second reading of Bill No. 3609. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3609 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3609 with the following results:
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Terbrock for a first reading of Bill No. 3610. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3610 was read for the first time.
Alderman Terbrock asked why is this legislation being proposed. Police Chief Schicker said that there is a difference in prosecutor style and makes a cleaner ordinance.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Leahy for a second reading of Bill No. 3610. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3610 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3610 with the following results:
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Leahy for a first reading of Bill No. 3611. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3611 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Leahy for a second reading of Bill No. 3611. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3611 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3611 with the following results:
A. Police Cars (Purchase 5 cars / State Bid / Don Brown Chevrolet / $98,585 / no trade in.)
Alderman McDowell requested that Item “B” be removed for further discussion.
Alderman Terbrock requested that Items “A” and “C” be removed for further discussion.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Schmer to accept the Consent Item “D”. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Work Shop Session: Mayor Pogue proposed that a Workshop Session be held on January 25 and the regularly scheduled Board meeting be cancelled. He said that this is an open public meeting and will be properly advertised. After discussion regarding the date of the proposed Work Shop Session, the Board agreed by motion as follows:
A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Schmer to conduct the Workshop Session at 6:00 p.m. on January 25 in the Board Room, and to cancel the regularly scheduled 7:00 p.m. Board of Aldermen Meeting on January 25. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Closed Session: Mayor Pogue said requested a Closed Session at the end of this meeting to complete the annual evaluation of the City Administrator (Chapter 610, Section 21 Subsec. 3). The Board agreed.
Police Cars: City Administrator Kuntz said that this is a purchase under State bid. Local vendors were contacted. Alderman Terbrock said that the budgeted amount was higher than the cost of the cars. Police Chief Schicker said that pricing information is obtained for police vehicles to be included in the budget for the following year. Alderman Schmer asked if there is any advantage to buying 5 cars at the same time. Chief Schicker said that the dealer orders cars based on the information of purchases for 2010. There is only a small number of police vehicles ordered beyond the projected totals for the upcoming year. There are 5 police vehicles being held for Ballwin until the end of January. After that time, other police departments will purchase the vehicles if Ballwin does not. There will be higher delivery charges to purchase these vehicles later in the year. These are specially produced vehicles and cannot be ordered except during that limited production period which is usually in late winter to early spring.
Alderman Schmer asked about the repair track record on the Chevrolets. Police Chief Schicker said that they have used Chevrolets for 15 years. There has only been 1 “lemon” in 15 years. Repairs have been within reason and acceptable.
A motion was made by Alderman Mellow and seconded by Alderman Boerner to purchase the 5 police cars from Don Brown Chevrolet. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Financial Report: Alderman McDowell said that information is being provided to the public on a simi-annual basis. He said the public has not requested additional information. This puts an undue hardship on staff. The aldermen have the information needed regarding the financial situation. He said he is opposed to the additional information being added to the financial report. City Administrator Kuntz said this is a statutory requirement for publication in a newspaper of general circulation called “Statement of Financial Condition”. He said this has always been published in accordance with the requirements of State law. It is for periods ending December 31 and June 30. The requirement is that the report be prepared within 30 days of the close of the reporting period. The state statute requires the Board of Aldermen and Mayor to produce this information.
Alderman Boerner said that this can be used as an opportunity to show what the city has actually done. He said the internal financial reports do not include all of the revenues. The sales tax revenues for November and December are received in January and February, and the auditors make this adjustment. During the year, Ballwin doesn’t accrue those revenues. He said there is a lag time of 2 months on sales tax revenues and 1 month on the gross receipts for utility taxes. The road tax, which is a property tax at the county level, is received in January, which is approximately $700,000. He said he would like to receive information from the Finance Officer how the statements are prepared. He said this is an opportunity to see the exact cash flow. Alderman McDowell said the information that Alderman Boerner is requesting is available to the Board at any time. His concern is that by providing the information to the public in the suggested manner, puts pressure on the Finance Department. He said the Financial Report reflects the accuracy of the city accounting process on the specified day as this has been done for the past 15 – 20 years.
Alderman Boerner said the statute called for this information to be published by January 31. If it is not published by January 31, expenditures cannot be made during the period before publication.
Alderman Suozzi said she is concerned that there is a difference in philosophy accounting using an accrual method or a cash method. This issue is being raised less than 10 days before staff needs to certify this document and get it advertised. The accounting procedures and how the balance sheets are presented can be considered and amended if necessary, but it does not need to be done in 2 weeks time. She said the report needs to be certified. City Attorney Jones said that action can be taken on this at the Work Shop Session as long as it is published ahead of the meeting.
City Administrator Kuntz said that this is the format that other cities commonly use. These are the numbers that have been compiled by the Finance Officer. He said that further discussion can be held with the chairman of the committee. Alderman McDowell said that the current system that is being used does not indicate that there is a deficiency or would not reflect the financial condition of the City of Ballwin. It is a proper and well accepted technique that is being used. He said that Alderman Boerner is proposing something that is in addition to the current procedure. It does not in any way justify or state that what we are presenting is inadequate. City Administrator Kuntz said that every city has to prepare the statement in this manner.
Alderman Fleming said that this report must be published by the end of the month and has been prepared in the traditional manner. He suggested that it be published as is, and agree to discuss how this will be done in the future during the Work Shop.
Alderman Boerner said that it is not acceptable for publication as it is at this time. He said that the numbers don’t look right to him. Alderman Fleming said the ultimate purpose is to satisfy the state statute. Does this satisfy that requirement? Alderman Boerner said that the State statute requires that receipts and expenditures and indebtedness be included. He said the submitted statement does not include the indebtedness of the city. It includes the debt payments but not the indebtedness.
Mayor Pogue asked for a motion to either accept or deny the report to be published by January 31.
Alderman Terbrock asked if this report satisfies the statute. City Attorney Jones said yes, it does satisfy the statute.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman McDowell to publish this report as presented. A voice vote was taken with the following result: Aye: Terbrock, Schmer, Suozzi, Fleming, Mellow. Nay: McDowell, Leahy, Boerner. The motion passed by a vote of 5-3.
Vehicle Repairs: City Administrator Kuntz said that negotiations are being conducted with General Motors. Alderman Terbrock said that the memorandum states that certain information is attached that the Board does not have. City Administrator Kuntz said that he has a 22-page diagnostic summary that is very technical. Police Chief Schicker said that diagnostic testing was done on the vehicle and the parts have been examined. A report was forwarded to General Motors.
Alderman Terbrock said he is stunned that out of all of the cars that have been purchased, we can’t get the needed information to have $6,000 of repairs done on a car. City Administrator Kuntz said the city does not have a lot of leverage over General Motors.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Mellow to approve the expenditure for the repair of the police car. A voice vote was taken with the following result: Aye: McDowell, Schmer, Suozzi, Fleming, Leahy, Boerner, Mellow. Nay: Terbrock. The motion passed by a vote of 7-1.
Pointe Liquor: City Administrator Kuntz said this is a proposal as a result of certain rental inquiries to allow carry-in alcoholic beverages under certain circumstances. Alderman Terbrock said this does not fit into the atmosphere the public recreation center to have people using alcohol. Over an extended period of time, a substantial amount of alcohol can be served and people would also have to leave the room to use the restroom facilities at The Pointe. Accidents can happen in this situation that leaves the City responsible. He said there is no benefit in approving this.
Alderman McDowell said that he cannot approve this. Mixing alcohol where family recreation is conducted is not acceptable. It’s a case for disaster. He said that this would be sending the wrong message to our community to have alcohol served where children are enjoying recreation. It’s acceptable at the golf course, but not at The Pointe.
Alderman Schmer said that the same liability is similar to the Golf Course. Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer said that alcohol would not be sold at The Pointe under this plan. Alderman Terbrock said that a playground and family pool is not attached to the Golf Course.
Alderman Leahy said that this would not be a problem if the people using the alcohol were in a confined area. Someone would have to be assigned to make sure they stay in that area. Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer said that they would be confined to the meeting room and it would be the responsibility of the manager on duty to make sure that the area is safe. Since there are no restrooms in the meeting rooms, they would have to use the public Pointe restrooms.
A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to NOT approve liquor being brought in to The Pointe. A voice vote was taken with the following result: Aye: McDowell, Terbrock, Suozzi, Schmer, Fleming, Boerner. Nay: Leahy and Mellow. The motion to not allow liquor to be brought into The Pointe was approved by a vote of 6-2.
Permanent Tee Times: City Administrator Kuntz said that the recommendation is to re-establish permanent tee times. He said that at one time, permanent tee times were being discouraged and only the grandfathered existing permanent tee times were allowed to continue in the interest of creating more open slots. In order to maximize revenues and come close to total cost recovery, the suggestion is to lock in the guaranteed tee times because it takes away the weather factor and revenues are guaranteed with future fees being monitored by the golf course staff based on demand and other market conditions. He said that this legislation is recommended by Parks & Recreation Bruer and Golf Pro Dave Furlong.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Schmer to draft legislation to re-establish a golf course seasonal tee time policy. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Game Room Climbing Wall: City Administrator Kuntz said that the wall that was authorized and approved, had some manufacturing and reliability issues. A substitution was offered but the substitution cannot be accomplished in a timely manner to satisfy the auditors, as well as the funding commitment on the Parks grant. Unless the Board wants to turn the money back on the grant, authorization to amend the budget to be included in 2010 as a revenue items and offset as an expense item. There will be no additional cost to the City. This needs to be done so that new wall bids can be solicited and the award made in time to make the deadline for the grant reimbursement.
Mayor Pogue asked why is $12,000 being re-budgeted rather than approving the amount for previous piece at $13,400. Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer said that since the piece was taken off the market, more research was conducted and the recommendation is to use equipment that is not motorized and runs on gravity and the person’s own body weight. This is safer and requires less maintenance. She said one e-mail quote was $11,600. The grant is for up to $13,400. The purchase would be competitively bid.
Alderman Boerner asked for an explanation of the safety features of the climbing wall. Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer said that the equipment was recalled because of motor mechanical issues and not any safety issues. She said that there is safety flooring in the room and a protective mat is included and Pointe staff would be in the room. The height is 10 feet 2 inches. She said with the gravity system, a child can never go up as high as 10 feet. As they are climbing up the wall, the belt is coming down. The movement stops when the person stops climbing.
A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Schmer re-appropriate funds to the 2010 budget for the purchase of the grant-approved climbing wall. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Sunshine Request Form: City Administrator Kuntz said that the form was prepared from the guideline lines from the State Attorney General’s office. This form would become the standard form for all information requests. He said this form will take away the uncertainty of fee waiver, cost, time frame, internal delegation of data gathering so that a file is created of previous requests. This will be more efficient for the petitioner and the City.
Alderman Terbrock asked about the timeframe for keeping the request information in the file. City Administrator Kuntz said the files will be centralized with the City Clerk. A records destruction date for these requests has not been established. Destroy dates are set by the State, specifically as it relates to specific records. At this point, a single master copy will be kept in the file. Having electronic retention capabilities, a lot of the State records are recorded but required that they be kept in paper form. We should be able to do this by transferring to discs.
Alderman Schmer asked about the pre-payment requirement. How will this be determined when the number of pages and hours of work is not known at the time the request is made. City Attorney Jones said the City has the option of requiring payment in advance but doesn’t have to exercise this option. He said we want the requestor to understand that it may be their obligation to pay in advance. Typically when we estimate that something is going to be voluminous requiring a lot of research time and copies, we would ask for pre-payment. City Administrator Kuntz said that if the request spans several years, there would be hours of research time and the cost could be over $100 - $200. He said at least there would be an understanding so that the requestor didn’t assume that the service is free. Alderman Schmer said that initially when the request is made, the extent of the cost will not be known and could be an unacceptable surprise to the requestor. City Administrator Kuntz said that interim contact may have to be made to keep the requestor updated on the cost of the research and copies. City Attorney Jones said the form won’t address all situations but will clarify the process and hopefully avoid a situation where staff does research, makes a lot of copies, and Ballwin is never reimbursed.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock, and seconded by Alderman Schmer to approve the use of the Sunshine Law Request form. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
911 Legislation: City Administrator Kuntz said this is regarding abuse of the 911 emergency network system. Police Chief Schicker has asked for legislative action to address this issue. This is a follow up to the legislation that enhanced accessibility of 911 throughout St. Louis County.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi, and seconded by Alderman McDowell to draft legislation regarding misuse of the 911 emergency system. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Funding Request: City Administrator Kuntz said that the St. Louis County Municipal League has entered into an objection of the pending AmerenUE rate hike, which is significant to Ballwin because of the impact of the rate hike on the municipal street lighting operation. For most other consumers, the proposed rate adjustment affects their consumption. For the City of Ballwin, the AmerenUE proposal would take 18% and apply it to the total $14.57 that they are charging per month per pole throughout the City for street lights. Despite the fact that the actual energy portion of that charge is approximately $2.71. We are not going to be looking at 18% of $2.71 x 1,000 fixtures. This is 18% of $14.57 x 1,000 fixtures. In the past, the rate adjustments were for residential or commercial usage only. The last 2 rate hikes have been expanded to include municipal street lighting. The street lighting budget has increased from $300,000 to approximately $400,000 - $440,000 per year range in 2010. He said this is not an issue that Ballwin can combat on its own. The St. Louis County Municipal League would act as our regional representative and encourage other cities to work together in consortium to do this on a class basis. Unfortunately, to be effective before the rate authority, we need expertise both in terms of the impact on the numbers, as well as the legal aspects of being able to challenge this type of an action.
City Administrator Kuntz said the Municipal League has contacted its member cities to assist to defray the cost of this representation on behalf of the cities. Ballwin is the second biggest user of street lighting. Based on that quote, the Municipal League as asked that Ballwin contribute $5,694. This is not a budgeted expenditure. It would be in the “unexpected” category as a contingency charge. He asked for direction from the Board and believes that there is a direct benefit to the City of Ballwin and the Municipal League would be hard pressed to get other smaller cities to continue to pursue this initiative if one of the biggest users decided to stay on the side lines and not be part of the action. He said in all probability, if we do not participate, the Municipal League won’t have the resources to continue.
Mayor Pogue asked the Board to consider this because this is a serious issue for Ballwin. This could mean a $70,000 per year increase in the street lighting bill.
Alderman Suozzi said she has been getting phone calls from the Ward 2 residents voicing their concern about this increase. She said the momentum is in the city’s favor.
City Administrator Kuntz said that the hearings start in April and the effective date of the increase would be July 1.
Alderman Fleming said the letter from the Municipal League states that this increase may be only 50% of the total cost and may come back with a request for the remainder of the cost. City Administrator Kuntz said that this is possible. If the affected cities will step forward, other cities are expected to participate.
Alderman Leahy said he will support this request if 80% of the other cities 12 cities also support this initiative with a contribution. He said he doesn’t want to put Ballwin’s money into this if the other cities don’t contribute. Alderman McDowell said that the smaller cities will join in if the larger cities are participating.
Alderman Suozzi said that the St. Louis County Municipal League is comprised of cities working together to protect ourselves from things like this. The Municipal League was instrumental in the cell phone fees that that brought more revenue into the cities.
Alderman Fleming said that the cities are driving the cell phone settlement. We didn’t always opt in to pay the Municipal League to support the cell phone legislation.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Suozzi, to approve this expenditure if 80% of the cities on the list agree to pay their fair share. A voice vote was taken with the following result: Aye: Leahy, Fleming, Terbrock. Nay: McDowell, Mellow, Suozzi, Terbrock, Schmer, Boerner. The motion failed by a vote of 5-3.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to approve the expenditure of $5,694 to contribute to the AmerenUE attorney and CPA fees through the St. Louis County Municipal League. A voice vote was taken with the following result: Aye: Terbrock, McDowell, Suozzi, Schmer, Fleming, Boerner, Mellow. Nay: Leahy. The motion passed by a vote of 7-1.
“Living” Signs: City Administrator Kuntz said that this method of signage is gaining popularity along the commercial corridor. He asked the other cities in the Great Streets Initiative to take similar action to their Boards with the recommendation that it might be an opportunity for all five cities to have similar legislation, which would result in a stronger and united front for the corridor.
Alderman Terbrock asked if other cities are considering this for legislation. City Attorney Jones said that the Wentzville ordinance was provided by the Missouri Municipal League because there are other cities across the State that will consider this as a model. He said that the suggested ordinance emphasizes the police power and restrictions, site lines, and other issues that make these kinds of ordinances defensible. If it can be proved that the ordinance is being enacted for the welfare of the people based upon the police powers that are granted in the statutes, there is a great chance that it will be found to be constitutional and enforceable. City Attorney Jones said he is not aware of any current litigation challenging this ordinance in other cities.
Alderman Suozzi said that one of the goals of the Great Streets Initiative was to start having consistent ordinances throughout all five cities so that there is no confusion with the businesses. This would be a good time for these cities to unite in this legislation.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi to draft legislation to prohibit the “living” signs in Ballwin.
Mayor Pogue said that on Thursday, January 14, he will be meeting with the Mayors in the Great Streets program and will discuss this legislation with them. He will report back to the Board on this discussion.
Alderman Fleming asked if this is intended to replace any existing sign ordinances that we currently have. City Attorney Jones said that it will not replace but will amend and add a new provision. It will be a supplement to the existing ordinance.
Alderman Schmer said that a meeting was held with Assistant City Administrator Aiken and several Aldermen regarding some of the current sign ordinances. He said this is still in process and there will be another meeting to decide on the changes that will be recommended. He asked if Ballwin has to be the first city to approve this legislation without knowing if we will be the first to be sued. Would it be more prudent to wait on the changes that are being suggested and adopt the whole package at the same time? City Attorney Jones said that the Planning & Zoning Commission will have to consider it because our sign code is part of the zoning.
City Administrator Kuntz said that perhaps the process can be started with the Planning & Zoning Commission. If the Board is not comfortable with moving forward or there is no interest on the part of other cities, then the living sign aspect could be held back.
City Attorney Jones said he would like to see a Public Hearing on this particular ordinance.
Alderman Suozzi withdrew her motion.
Alderman McDowell said he is opposed to prohibiting living signs in Ballwin. He said this is a clear cut violation of the first amendment right of freedom of speech. This legislation dictates what an individual can wear. He said there is a reason why a number of cities have not jumped on this issue. Legally, this is not on solid ground. To make this type of imposition on the first amendment rights of individuals is a bold and unnecessary step. Many times we are fearful that the federal government will make such a move, but the Board is preparing to make this move on the local level. No matter how distasteful living signs may be, this is clearly taking away the rights of freedom of speech of individuals. The first amendment rights should be preserved at all costs. He said he is adamantly opposed to this and any type of legislation that takes away freedom of speech, and this will violate it without a doubt.
Purchasing Changes: City Administrator Kuntz said that other municipal models have been reviewed. The draft bill closely mirrors the Ladue model but takes into account some of the situations peculiar to the City of Ballwin. It addresses some of the concerns that were discussed at the Finance & Administration Committee meeting on January 6. He said the recommendation is that this legislation would replace the existing purchasing ordinance, as well as the policy that is in the Board Policy Manual, which is very extensive. It is recommended that the policy be amended and reduced in scope so that there is no inconsistency between the Policy Manual and the legislation. City Attorney Jones has been very careful to insure that the proposed legislation conforms with the statutory requirements.
Alderman Fleming suggested that this be discussed at the January 25 Work Shop to give more time for review. The Board agreed.
Alderman Boerner said that in Section 2.4 b of the Missouri Revised Statutes, there is a definition of a single feasible source purchase. It is more expanded in Section 50.783. If this had been applied to the telephone purchase, it clearly qualifies for a single feasible source purchase. Mayor Pogue said that the definition of sole service vendor is currently in the Ballwin ordinance.
Mosquito Fogging: Alderman Fleming suggested that all documents regarding the mosquito fogging by St. Louis County be provided for discussion at the Work Shop Session on January 25. Mayor Pogue asked Director of Public Works Kramer to communicate with St. Louis County regarding their 2010 policy in spraying.
Street Vacating: Alderman Terbrock said there was a request at the last Board meeting from Mr. Drury regarding the spur on Reinke Road between 249 and 251. He asked for an update. City Attorney Jones said that he wrote to Mr. Drury and explained to him the City’s preference to vacate the Reinke stub street to the adjoining property owners. He inquired whether Mr. Drury and neighbors would be able to grant each other cross access easements and to find some level of agreed maintenance. He said if the city vacates a public street, the city may become liable for damages to adjoining property owners. If the street is going to be vacated, it should not cause damage to the adjoining property owners. He said Mr. Drury referred him to his attorney for correspondence. City Attorney Jones said that he is waiting for Mr. Drury’s attorney to respond to the last communication.
Reserves Revenue: Alderman Suozzi said that the topic regarding diversification of the revenue stream has been raised frequently in her 14 years on the Board. She is confident that it can be found in the Minutes if that’s what Mr. Klein is looking for. She said this can be discussed at the Work Shop on January 25. She said that it is important for Ballwin to maintain a high bond rating because part of the bond rating is based on the type of revenue received, amount and other factors.
Bond Rating: Alderman Terbrock said that due to Ballwin’s high bond rating, we were able to save a considerable amount of money by refinancing the bond debt last year. If the rating had been lower, we probably would have had a harder time to get refinancing and to save money. He said the bond rating to a municipality is like a credit report to an individual resident. If we have a more diverse revenue source, the reserve fund would not need to be high to cover emergencies.
Finance & Administration Committee Minutes: Alderman Boerner asked when will the Minutes from the Finance & Administration Committee meeting be presented for approval. City Administrator Kuntz said that a draft of the Minutes was submitted to Alderman Boerner for approval and will be in the next Board meeting packet. Alderman Fleming asked that the Minutes be include with the January 25 Work Shop documents.
Adjourn to Closed Session: A motion was made by Alderman Mellow and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to adjourn to closed session in accordance to State Statute 610, Section 21, Sub-Section 3 to discuss personnel. A roll call vote was taken with the following results:
Ayes: Aldermen Boerner, Mellow, Fleming, Leahy, Suozzi, Schmer, Terbrock, McDowell.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Boerner to adjourn the closed session. A roll call vote was taken with a unanimous result, and the closed session was adjourned at 10:10 p.m.
The Board reconvened in open session at 10:12 p.m.
Mayor Pogue stated that the Board met in closed session to discuss the performance evaluation of the City Administrator. No votes were taken.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to adjourn the open session. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 10:15 p.m.
TIM POGUE, MAYOR