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 2012 BUDGET WORK SESSION
City of Ballwin
September 26, 2011

The Budget Work Session for 2012 was called to order at 5:33 p.m. by Mayor Pogue.  In attendance were Aldermen Terbrock, Finley, Harder, Dogan, Fleming, Leahy, Boerner and Kerlagon.  Also in attendance were City Administrator Kuntz, Assistant City Administrator Aiken, Finance Officer Loehr, Chief of Police Schicker, Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer, Director of Public Works Kramer, and City Attorney Jones.

Budget Approach / Philosophy
City Administrator Robert Kuntz presented the budget approach and philosophy.  The discussion involved the handouts and the origin of the information provided.  Revenue numbers have yet to be calculated.

POLICE DEPARTMENT PRESENTATION
Chief of Police Steve Schicker presented an overview of the 2012 budget structure.  He addressed the following:  1) staffing, command structure, and experience of the force; 2) No turn overs in 2011 of enforcement personnel due to recruitment of experienced personnel; 3) Moving forward with accreditation at the Missouri level; 4) Upgrade of front desk security in 2011; 5) Increase in cyber crimes in Ballwin, which has changed dramatically since 20 – 30 years ago.  Social media is now part of the issue; 6) Use information sharing with other agencies to approach these kinds of crimes.  There’s  better and more timely information available to the officers and detectives; 7) Not much revenue comes from the police department.  There is some from records copies; 8) Extra training of personnel so they can help out in other areas of the department when needed; 9) Communications Agreement with Manchester for dispatching.  Quality dispatchers are critical for this operation; 10) More community involvement in 2012 (Rockwood, Parkway), Citizens Academy, Drug Take-Back programs, RUOK?, etc.; 11) Use grants whenever possible; 12) In need of carports for the squad cars and a storage garage .

Alderman Boerner asked if response times differ on weekends compared to weekdays.  Police Chief Schicker said it varies more as a result of traffic than from staffing.

Alderman Harder asked about the needs for 2012.  Police Chief Schicker said they need 5 police vehicles, 1 SUV, UPS power system for communications, a carport and storage garage.

Alderman Harder said that many crimes seem to be youth related.  Can anything be done about this?  Police Chief Schicker said that most of these crimes are not committed by west county people.  They are coming here from other areas, so involvement through the schools and the community is not reaching the people involved in these crimes.

Alderman Kerlagon asked if a second citizen police academy could be held.  Police Chief Schicker said, this could be done, however, there has not generally been enough interest.

Alderman Harder asked what is the residual benefit to the department from citizen’s police academy?  Police Chief Schicker said that the participants are commonly older.  They have helped with child fingerprinting events, drug take-back programs, and occasionally with bilingual services.

Alderman Finley asked how are internet fraud and identity theft reports addressed?  Police Chief Schicker said they track locations of illegal use and cooperate with other agencies to establish patterns.

Alderman Harder asked, with 86% personnel cost, how does this line up with other departments?  Police Chief Schicker said this is reviewed regularly.  Ballwin’s salaries are in the middle of the pack.  City Administrator Kuntz said we used to do this annually.  In the last 3-5 years, this has been changed due to financial issues.  Most cities have been giving about the same levels of increase as those awarded in Ballwin.  He said there will be a more thorough analysis of this later in the budget process. 

ADMINISTRATION DEPARTMENT PRESENTATION
Assistant City Administrator Thomas Aiken presented an overview of the 2012 budget structure.  He pointed out that the department is comprised of eight programs.  He specifically referenced the historical significance of Planning & Zoning and the Code Enforcement operations.  Mr. Aiken indicated that expenditure levels for all programs are expected to remain relatively stable with the exception of Community Services, which will experience a $50,000 cost increase due to an Ameren rate hike on street lights.  Information Services, which will have a one-time expense of $49,000 to cover the replacement of the building security system and Support Services, which will have a one-time expenditure of $65,000 to upgrade the Audio/Video equipment and acoustics in the Board room.

Adjourn:  A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Harder to adjourn the Budget Work Session.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the meeting was adjourned at 7:02 p.m.

Tim Pogue, Mayor

ATTEST:
Robert Kuntz, City Administrator 

Approved 10/10/11


MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
CITY OF BALLWIN – 300 PARK DRIVE
September 26, 2011

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Pogue at 7:07 p.m.

             PRESENT                                                   ABSENT
MAYOR TIM POGUE 
ALDERMAN JIMMY TERBROCK 
ALDERMAN MICHAEL FINLEY 
ALDERMAN MARK HARDER 
ALDERMAN SHAMED DOGAN 
ALDERMAN FRANK FLEMING 
ALDERMAN JIM LEAHY 
ALDERMAN RICHARD BOERNER 
ALDERMAN KATHY KERLAGON 
CITY ADMINISTRATOR ROBERT KUNTZ 
CITY ATTORNEY ROBERT E. JONES 

The Pledge of Allegiance was given.

MINUTES
The Minutes of the September 12, 2011 Board of Aldermen meeting and closed session were submitted for approval.  A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Boerner 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
None.

PUBLIC HEARINGS
None.

NEW BUSINESS

LEGISLATION

BILL # 3697 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE ELECTRICAL CODE IN THE CITY OF BALLWIN AND PROVIDING FOR RESIDENT ELECTRICAL TESTS.

A motion was made by Alderman Finley and seconded by Alderman Boerner for a first reading of Bill No. 3697.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.  Bill No. 3697 was read for the first time.

Alderman Harder asked what provision has been included for enforcement.  Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that if a resident has done their own electrical work without a permit, they will have to hire an electrician to get a permit.  The licensed electrician will have to verify that the work has been done in accordance with code.  After a resident passes the test, he/she will then apply for a permit.  The electrician on the form will be “self”.  This is only for the residence that they live in.  No commercial work at all and no work for anyone else.  The inspector will be aware that the resident did the electrical work and will be diligent in checking.  Our philosophy is more about compliance than with enforcement. 

Mayor Pogue said he would like to see a higher standard set and increase the passage up to 80%.instead of 75%. 

Alderman Boerner said an information packet should be given to a resident when they ask about self installation of electrical work.  He said it should include what circumstances will require someone to get this type of permit.  He said the 25 questions should be reasonably answered within the 1½ hour time frame.  Perhaps someone within the organization should take the test to see if this is reasonable.  St. Louis County has a 20 questions multiple choice test.  He said it’s going to cost over $300 to take the test.  It will cost about $700 or $800 to change out a fuse box.  He does not think the passage should be increased to 80%.  Alderman Harder agreed with Alderman Boerner. 

City Administrator Kuntz said there will be a staff meeting to discuss the best way to provide the permit threshold information.  Assistant City Administrator Aiken said there are guidelines in the Code that explain what needs a permit and what can be done without a permit.  Also, when they get a permit, they will receive one inspection.  If the work failed the first inspection, there will be a charge for the second inspection. 

Alderman Terbrock said that 80% should be the requirement to pass the test.  We won’t know if the applicant has any ability or knowledge to do this work, therefore, 80% is not out of line.  Alderman Boerner said the inspection will show that.  If they didn’t do it right, they will have to do it over. 

A motion was made by Alderman Finley and seconded by Alderman Leahy to amend Bill 3697 to change the words addition to edition.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.

A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Kerlagon to change 75% to 80%.  A voice vote was taken with the following result:  Aye:  Terbrock, Kerlagon, Harder, Dogan, Fleming.   Nay:  Boerner, Finley, Leahy.  The motion passed by a vote of 5-3. 

A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Kerlagon for a second reading of Bill No. 3697.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.  Bill No. 3697 was read for the second time.

A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3697 with the following results: 
Ayes – Terbrock, Finley, Kerlagon, Fleming, Harder, Dogan, Leahy.    Nays – Boerner.  Bill No. 3697 was approved by a vote of 7-1 and became Ordinance No. 11-41.


BILL # 3698 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE MANCHESTER ROAD REVITALIZATION OVERLAY DISTRICT APPROVED PER ORDINANCE 11-43 FOR CERTAIN LAND COMMONLY KNOWN AS 14799 MANCHESTER ROAD IN THE CITY OF BALLWIN AND CURRENTLY KNOWN AS LOTS “B” OF THE U-GAS BALLWIN SUBDIVISION.

A motion was made by Alderman Finley and seconded by Alderman Harder for a first reading of Bill No. 3698.   A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.  Bill No. 3698 was read for the first time.

A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Finley for a second reading of Bill No. 3698.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.  Bill No. 3698 was read for the second time.

A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3698 with the following results: 
Ayes – Fleming, Finley, Leahy, Harder, Boerner, Dogan, Kerlagon, Terbrock.   Nays – None.  Bill No. 3698 was approved and became Ordinance No. 11-42.

BILL # 3699 - AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING A MANCHESTER ROAD REVITALIZATION OVERLAY DISTRICT FOR CERTAIN LAND COMMONLY KNOWN AS 14754 MANCHESTER ROAD IN THE CITY OF BALLWIN AND CURRENTLY ZONED C-1 COMMERCIAL.

A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Terbrock for a first reading of Bill No. 3699.   A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.  Bill No. 3699 was read for the first time.

Alderman Harder asked what now are they doing that they didn’t want to do before when this process started.  Assistant City Administrator Aiken said, “They proposed to put an addition on the building and re-work the configuration of the parking lot from three curb cuts down to two.  It fell under the MRD Revitalization Overlay District requirement, the site has some unusual characteristics.  There were issues with providing the required perimeter screening landscaping areas required by the MRD.  The Commission voted to recommend approval, subject to being able to go to the Board of Adjustment and obtain several variances to those issues. 

A motion was made by Alderman Leahy and seconded by Alderman Boerner for a second reading of Bill No. 3699.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.  Bill No. 3699 was read for the second time.

A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3699 with the following results: 
Ayes – Leahy, Boerner, Finley, Kerlagon, Fleming, Terbrock, Dogan, Harder.    Nays – None.  Bill No. 3699 was approved and became Ordinance No. 11-43.

BILL # 3700 - AN ORDINANCE VACATING EXCESS RIGHT-OF-WAY OF SEVEN TRAILS DRIVE AT 14799 MANCHESTER ROAD AND PROVIDING COMPENSATION THEREFOR.

A motion was made by Alderman Leahy and seconded by Alderman Boerner for a first reading of Bill No. 3700.   A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.  Bill No. 3700 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. 3700.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.  Bill No. 3700 was read for the second time.

A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3700 with the following results: 
Ayes – Boerner, Leahy, Terbrock, Kerlagon, Dogan, Finley, Harder, Fleming.    Nays – None.  Bill No. 3700 was approved and became Ordinance No. 11-44.
BILL # 3701 - AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE CITY OF BALLWIN TO ENTER INTO AND EXECUTE TWO EASEMENTS AND A QUIT CLAIM DEED WITH TAYCO SEVEN TRAILS DRIVE, LLC FOR CERTAIN PROPERTY AT SEVEN TRAILS DRIVE AND MANCHESTER ROAD IN CONNECTION WITH THE DEVELOPMENT THEREOF AND AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN TO ENTER INTO SUCH DOCUMENTS ON BEHALF OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN.

A motion was made by Alderman Finley and seconded by Alderman Fleming for a first reading of Bill No. 3701.   A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.  Bill No. 3701 was read for the first time.

A motion was made by Alderman Kerlagon and seconded by Alderman Boerner for a second reading of Bill No. 3701.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.  Bill No. 3701 was read for the second time.

A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3701 with the following results: 
Ayes – Kerlagon, Boerner, Leahy, Finley, Fleming, Harder, Terbrock, Dogan.    Nays – None.  Bill No. 3701 was approved and became Ordinance No. 11-45.

BILL # 3702 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE SUBDIVISION CODE TO INCLUDE PROCEDURES FOR ACCEPTANCE OF SUBDIVISIONS IN THE CITY OF BALLWIN.

A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Terbrock for a first reading of Bill No. 3702.   A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.  Bill No. 3702 was read for the first time.

Alderman Harder asked, “Is this something new, how’s this different from our current regulations, do we have an ordinance about dealing with procedures for accepting a subdivision?”  Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that these regulations were in the Policy Manual and are being moved into the Subdivision ordinance to be more accessible to the public.  City Administrator Kuntz said that the Board Policy Manual didn’t have the same accessibility to the public as our Code of Ordinances on our website.  We felt it would be more appropriate to put this information in the Code of Ordinances. 

A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Finley for a second reading of Bill No. 3702.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.  Bill No. 3702 was read for the second time.

A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3702 with the following results: 
Ayes – Terbrock, Finley, Dogan, Kerlagon, Fleming, Harder, Boerner, Leahy.    Nays – None.  Bill No. 3702 was approved and became Ordinance No. 11-46.

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. Synthetic Substances
B. New World Hardware / Software (Finance Department)

Alderman Finley requested that Item “A” be removed for further discussion.

A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Boerner to accept the Consent Items.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.

MAYOR’S REPORT
Mayor Pogue congratulated ASAP and Mr. Harry’s Carnival Foods.  At last weekend’s Barbecue Bash, they took first in Chef’s Choice, and second in pulled pork with an overall finish of third. 

Six North Café is going to be doing a book signing on Wednesday night from 4:00 – 7:00 with Cheryl Huey, the author of “Beyond Bacon Grease”. 

We will be doing the second annual holiday tree lighting ceremony on December 3 at the Olde Towne Plaza fountain from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

We will also be working with the Circle of Concern and a food drive. 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT

Synthetic Substances:  City Attorney Jones said, H.B. 641 was adopted in the last legislative session and became law on August 28.  The synthetic substances are being treated as marijuana.  Anything less than 35 grams is a misdemeanor or ordinance violation that Ballwin can prosecute in municipal court.  Violations over 35 grams is going to be a Class C felony and can only be prosecuted in State courts.  The idea was that an ordinance would be prepared that would codify those standards and make it possible to charge those crimes as ordinance violations in municipal court.  The action at this time is to draft legislation to bring in line with the State Statute.

City Administrator Kuntz said, “This is not a reaction to a major endemic problem in Ballwin.  It’s legislation to be consistent with State Statute to be able to enforce that law if necessary.”  Police Chief Schicker said, “If we don’t have an ordinance that covers this, there would most likely be a refusal to prosecute on a State level.  This is an effort to plug the gap.” 

A motion was made by Alderman Finley and seconded by Alderman Boerner to draft legislation.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.

Budget Work Session:  City Administrator Kuntz said the first work session on the 2012 budget was conducted at 5:30 p.m. this evening.  As usual, this was an open public meeting as all of these meetings will be.  There will be a serious of work sessions with a goal of adopting a fiscal plan legislatively before the end of the year, for the period to begin on January 1, 2012.  The next session will be held on October 10.  He asked the Board if the time schedule that was used tonight is acceptable for the next meeting.  The next session will be the report from Parks & Recreation.  Two weeks later, the Public Works Department report will be presented.  The Board agreed that the 5:30 starting time is acceptable. 

Surplus Property:  City Administrator Kuntz said, “The City acquired the property at 202 Highview years ago, as a result of the construction of a gabion drainage project that went through the neighborhood.  It was necessary to secure this permanent easement.  The last time the Board authorized sale of the property was in 2007.  That was the start of the downturn in the market, and we only received one bid.  The Board deemed it to be unsatisfactory.  Mr. Aiken was recently approached by the owner of the adjacent property, wanting to know if we are interested in sale of the property.  There are maintenance responsibilities in terms of grass cutting, and it serves no redeeming public purpose.  It would be appropriate as surplus if the compensation was right.  The revenue could be used for another purpose, such as part of the local match on the Ferris Park redevelopment, or something of that nature.  This is not time sensitive.  The Board agreed that there should be further discussion and consideration. 

Policy Manual:  Section 6:  Roadways & Sidewalks:  City Administrator Kuntz said it is suggested that private roadway guidelines, and sidewalks be moved to Chapter 24 of the Code of Ordinances, since this affects the public that is accessible to the residents. 

Alderman Harder asked how does this affect future annexations?  If we took over a subdivision, would all of this have to be up to date before we took it over?  City Attorney Jones said no, but at some point in time, yes.  When we prepare a map plan and a proposal for annexation, we have to give an economic analysis.  That’s part of the presentation that is made to the boundary commission.  It won’t preclude the annexation of new areas.  This is the type of analysis that the Boundary Commission wants to see when we’re taking over infrastructure like roads.

City Administrator Kuntz said, if that new infrastructure was to be subject to a re-subdivision or re-development, at that time, it would have to come into compliance.  It would be grandfathered in its current condition as long as the current condition stayed.  Six months later, if someone wanted to put in a subdivision, one of the conditions would be that it has to meet the code. 

Alderman Harder asked if there are any provisions for street creep issues?  City Engineer Kramer said street creep is a street maintenance issue.  This comes to our attention on a property-by-property basis.  If there are signs of street creep, a cushion is installed.  We don’t inspect every house to see if their driveway is pushing against the garage floor.  We won’t know that there’s a street creep until a complaint is received and there’s a full investigation, which typically includes inspecting inside the garage. 

A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Harder to draft legislation with the changes from the Policy Manual to the Code of Ordinances.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.

Clayton Corners Streets:  City Administrator Kuntz said that an ordinance for acceptance of the streets in Clayton Corners needs to be prepared.  The streets have been overlaid with the bond proceeds per Board authorization.  City Attorney Jones initiated a settlement with the bond company, and that has been executed.  A request for a motion to accept the streets in Clayton Corners Subdivision for public maintenance is requested. 

A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Leahy authorize legislation to accept the streets in Clayton Corners Subdivision for public maintenance.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.

STAFF REPORTS
None.

CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
City Attorney Jones said, “At the last meeting, I reported on the Doe vs. Schicker case, which was the Halloween sex offender registration statute.  Since the last meeting, the State of Missouri and St. Louis County have both appealed the amended judgment, which awarded attorneys’ fees and court costs of approximately $22,000.  I contacted the plaintiff’s attorney and clarified my understanding that since we were voluntarily dismissed from the case, in the court order, each party should provide for their own costs and attorneys fees, that we will not be liable for any portion of the plaintiff’s award.  The plaintiff’s attorney agrees.  That’s doesn’t mean that the defendant’s agree.  I’ve been working with our insurance adjuster from Ace Westchester, and we’ve decided that we are going to wait and see what happens, so that the City will not have to expend any additional funds at this time.”

Charter:  City Attorney Jones said, “Charter was an entity that was sued by several cities in a class action.  Charter filed some motions that were granted, arguing that classification as part of a class action was not proper, and this issue has now gone to the Missouri Supreme Court.  There will be an oral argument on November 10, 2011.  Ballwin is part of a group of cities that are being represented by Attorney John Mulligan.  Charter has been paying under protest, the taxes that are attributable to their fiber link system.  They have been doing that for almost a year, but have never filed an action to perfect that protest under Chapter 139.  At each 3-month period, Finance Officer Loehr and I confirm that there’s no action to that effect, and those monies are then moved to our general fund.  We have been collecting money from Charter even though this lawsuit is going on at this time.  Payments were made under protests that they did not perfect by filing a lawsuit.  We will never have to give that money back.  The Missouri Statutes state that cities cannot file class actions, but the providers can, and that’s the issue that the Supreme Court is going to hear on November 10.  Only the procedural question of whether a class action is proper will be heard.  If the Supreme Court rules that class action litigation is not proper, then, if a city wants to challenge Charter on its own, it could do that.” 

Alderman Boerner asked, “Did AT&T pass through some of those costs to the customers?”  City Attorney Jones said, “Yes, all of the providers have done this.  They rely on the provision in the contract that allows municipal taxes and fees to be passed on.  This is a business license fee or tax like any utility pays.  The question is whether this kind of technology is subject to those kinds of taxes” 

Alderman Harder asked, “Is a company like ‘Dish’ using a satellite system taxed even though they are not using easements, etc.?”  City Attorney Jones said, “Not at this time.”  City Administrator Kuntz said, “We are relying on them paying rent to be in our right-of-way.  If they’re not in the right-of-way, we have a weaker position to assess the fee.  Is it a rent fee or a utility add-on fee like sales tax, is the question.”  Alderman Harder asked, “If someone has the ‘Dish’ network, are they being charged a sales tax or user tax?”  City Administrator Kuntz said no.  It’s in our best interest to stick together collectively.  It defrays the legal expense and provides more of a significant united front. 

Five Year Annexation Cycle:  City Attorney Jones said this is beginning on January 1, 2012.  Map plans, where we designate an area that the city is possibly in interested in annexing, hacw to be submitted to the St. Louis County Boundary Commission between January 1 and July 1, 2012.  From July to December, 2012, they will hold hearings and presentations regarding economic impact, accessibility, and compatibility of the two areas is presented to the Boundary Commission.  They will study this and sometime in early 2013, they will hand down a decision either approving, disapproving, or asking for modifications map plan.  If the Board is interested in annexing an area, this will have to be submitted between now and July 1, 2012. 

Mayor Pogue said, “This is a topic that City Administrator Kuntz and I have been discussing, especially with the discussion of the sales tax task force that’s been going on, and possibly changing pool and point of sale tax distribution.  I’ve been serving on a 6-member task force representing “A” cities, as we are a hybrid and we meet about once monthly trying to come up with a different formula.  Last year there were no bills filed that would significantly change it and impacted us.  This would affect what we would annex.  We’re not going to get very much for the pool tax.  Anything we annex automatically becomes pool.  This could affect what we do regarding annexation over the next five years.” 

Door-to-Door Soliciting:  City Attorney Jones said, “You may recall that in December, 2010 and early 2011, we completely re-wrote the section of the Ballwin Code that dealt with canvassers, peddlers, door-to-door solicitors, and we lumped all of these classes of solicitors together.  We placed some restrictions on the hours of soliciting, and we required a permit and a $5 fee for the I.D. card.  A letter was received from an attorney representing a union.  The union is for not-for-profit solicitation organizations in approaching Walmart employees at their homes to see if they are interested in organizing.  Our police force stopped one of the solicitors.  That’s what caused this letter to be sent.  I tried to find out what they are willing to do, if anything.  I was told that they would be willing to supply a list of the number of solicitors that are going to be in our community, the days that they are going to be going door-to-door, and they will carry with them the badges, but they won’t identify themselves by name, they won’t allow a police record check to be run, and they won’t pay the fee.  They are relying upon the Watchtower Bible case that we looked at when we first began discussing this, and free speech and the right to remain anonymous if you’re going to solicit, as opposed to commercial free speech where they are going door-to-door selling windows etc.  The idea is that this group should not be controlled in the same fashion as commercial free speech should be.”

City Attorney Jones said, “We knew when we were discussing this that we were going to get some push back at some point.  We’ve gotten it.  I’m looking for guidance to know if we want to take on this organization at this time, make them comply; although they’ve made it clear that if we arrest anyone, they will look for injunctive relief and possible damages.  We don’t need to necessarily back down because we’ve been threatened.  I think it’s worth talking about that maybe we should consider carving out political free speech, treating it differently than we do commercial free speech, canvassing, handbilling, as opposed to soliciting, selling, peddling.  This can be discussed in closed session because we’ve been threatened by litigation, or if we want to just simply make sure we can get whatever we can from these people at this time, and then talk about amending our ordinance in the future.  The idea is that we wanted to be sure our residents would be able to readily identify someone as a solicitor who has at least has made application in the City of Ballwin, as opposed to someone who is there as a possible trespasser, or someone that they should be worried about.  I’m looking for guidance in that regard.”

Alderman Fleming said he is not comfortable discussing this in open session and prefers a closed session discussion.  Alderman Boerner said he agrees.  City Administrator Kuntz said this has been an ongoing process since September 8.  He recommended authorizing City Attorney Jones to continue the dialog and to schedule a closed session for the next Board meeting, and if pressed, permit the canvassing with registration until such time, without any admission or taking any position, not to force us into not having an option.  He said there’s a lot we don’t know at this time.  A lot of this information was given to City Attorney Jones just recently and we don’t have all of the court case information.  This is reliance on their position from their attorney.  We’ve not taken any radical action because everyday, there are more questions, and they are becoming more high-powered in their discussions with Mr. Jones.  He said he would like to provide the Board with more information to use to make good choices. 

Alderman Fleming said a brief closed session after this meeting should be held to give City Attorney Jones guidance to progress.  The Board agreed that they will adjourn to closed session at the end of this meeting.

ALDERMANIC COMMENTS

Street Lights:  Alderman Leahy said, “At the last meeting, I talked about the increase in cost of the street lights.  He recommended a Public Health & Safety Committee meeting at 6:00 p.m. on November 14 and for Assistant City Administrator Aiken, City Attorney Jones, City Administrator Kuntz to attend.  He requested that a representative from Ameren to also attend.”  Alderman Harder said it’s important that Ameren attend this meeting even if subpoena power is necessary to do this.  Alderman Terbrock asked if the Board has the authority to subpoena someone to attend a meeting.  City Attorney Jones said, “Yes.  The statute says that the Mayor and Board has subpoena power.  I’ve never had to research that, but it is possible.”  Alderman Leahy said, “As chairman of the Public Health & Safety Committee, I recommend that we voluntarily invite Ameren to attend the meeting, and save any forceful action until necessary to use.” 

Alderman Boerner asked if Ameren is regulated.  City Attorney Jones said yes.  Alderman Boerner said that whatever rates they charge Ballwin they have already presented this before the Commission or State of Missouri.  They can provide explanation as to how they arrived at their charge, but it’s already been approved and is a done deal. 

Alderman Leahy said, “This is not about rates.  This is about what we pay monthly for the poles that the lights are mounted on.  The lights at the top of the pole are $2.00 per month.  I have no problem with that.  How many years have the poles been standing there, and we pay $18 per month.  We have paid for those poles ten times over.  And that’s where I’m going with this committee meeting.”  City Administrator Kuntz said, “We also want to talk about options, what the City can and can’t do, and what Ameren will do.” 

Citizens’ Police Academy:  Alderman Finley said that the Citizens’ Police Academy begins on Wednesday, September 28, and on October 29 is the Drug Take-Back Program.

Snow Shoveled Onto Sidewalks:  Alderman Finley said that one of our citizens brought to our attention that homeowners should not shovel the snow onto the sidewalk.  Last winter, we repealed the ordinance that required the homeowner to shovel snow off of the sidewalks.  Alderman Fleming said that City Attorney Jones could look into this more closely.  Alderman Fleming said that this would be obstructing a public right-of-way.  Mayor Pogue said that a public health and safety hazard is created when stuff is thrown onto the sidewalk.  The resident is creating the hazard by putting it on the sidewalk.  Alderman Fleming said that if people were taking snow as they shovel their driveway and dumping it on the sidewalk, Code Enforcement should be able to address this issue.  City Attorney Jones agreed.  City Administrator Kuntz said that people cannot block the public right-of-way and sidewalks are public right-of-way. 

St. Louis Help:  Alderman Harder said, “I am on the Board for the St. Louis Help organization.  They provide free medical equipment to people that can’t afford medical equipment, such as wheel chairs, walkers, canes, medical beds, etc.  They collect this throughout the year, they clean it, and put it out in the community to those that can’t afford it.  We are having a collection drive on October 8, at the Lafayette Center in Manchester.  If you have any items in your garage or attic that you want to donate, please drop it off at one of the eleven locations throughout the St. Louis area.  We’ve teamed up with Schnucks and Dierbergs, and are using their parking lots to collect these items.  If you know of anyone who is elderly and needs this kind of help, there’s a phone number on the brochure, the items are free, and can be picked up.  It’s a lend-lease type of arrangement.  You can get expensive equipment for nothing, especially people that are homebound or any other type of situation.  If anyone needs more information, please contact him (Alderman Mark Harder).” 

Adjourn to Closed Session:  A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Finley to adjourn to closed session to discuss possible litigation, according to Section 610.0211 of the Missouri Statutes.  A roll call vote was taken with the following results:  Ayes:  Aldermen Boerner, Kerlagon, Fleming, Leahy, Dogan, Harder, Terbrock, Finley.  Nays:  None.  The motion passed to adjourn to closed session at 8:30 p.m. 

City Administrator Kuntz announced that it is not expected that any formal action will be taken and the Board will not conduct any further business at the conclusion of the executive session.

Closed Session:
The Board convened in closed session 8:40 p.m.

A discussion followed regarding potential litigation.  City Attorney Jones was informally directed to conduct further research and report back at the next Board meeting. 

A motion was made by Alderman Fleming 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 9:08 p.m.

The Board reconvened in open session at 9:09 p.m.

Mayor Pogue stated that the Board met in closed session to discuss potential litigation.

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 9:10 p.m.

TIM POGUE, MAYOR

ATTEST:
ROBERT A. KUNTZ, CITY ADMINISTRATOR

MC