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
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Pogue at 7:00 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
BILL # 3764 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE 2012 BUDGET OF CASH REVENUE AND CASH DISBURSEMENTS FOR THE OPERATING AND CAPITAL REVENUE FUNDS OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN, ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI, PROVIDING FOR EXPENDITURE REVISIONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH SAID BUDGET AND MAKING RE-APPROPRIATIONS THEREOF.
A motion was made by Alderman Finley and seconded by Alderman Terbrock for a first reading of Bill No. 3764. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3764 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Leahy and seconded by Alderman Kerlagon for a second reading of Bill No. 3764. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3764 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3764 with the following results:
BILL # 3765 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCIAL OVERLAY DISTRICT APPROVED PER ORDINANCE 09-20 FOR CERTAIN LAND AT CLAYTON ROAD AND HENRY AVENUE IN THE CITY OF BALLWIN TO PROVIDE FOR ADDITIONAL PARKING.
A motion was made by Alderman Kerlagon and seconded by Alderman Leahy for a first reading of Bill No. 3764. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result, the motion passed and Bill No. 3764 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Leahy and seconded by Alderman Finley for a second reading of Bill No. 3764. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3764 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3764 with the following results:
A. Architectural Services
Alderman Harder requested that Item “B” be removed for further discussion.
A motion was made by Alderman Leahy and seconded by Alderman Kerlagon to accept the Consent Item “A”. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Alderman Fleming was not yet present to vote on the Consent Items.
City Attorney Jones said that in the past, we have taken the position that as long as we receive the petition before there’s a change in the code, we will analyze and vote on it in accordance with the law as it existed when the petition was received. Mayor Pogue asked if this could be waived by the Planning & Zoning Commission or at the Board of Aldermen level? City Administrator Kuntz said that at this time, this is a Policy Manual requirement. Assistant City Administrator Aiken said this is also in the subdivision ordinance. Mr. Aiken said that the ordinance states that new subdivisions have to provide street lights. The standard is 250 feet between lights and at intersections.
Alderman Leahy said that he has concerns about having one standard for existing citizens of Ballwin and new standards for new developments in Ballwin. He believes that we should not require new developments to pay for their own street lights, while the rest of the residents are getting their lights paid by the City. There should be a uniform standard for all residents of Ballwin, whether it’s a new development, an existing development, or annexed development.
Mayor Pogue said we are no longer putting an additional burden on the current residents, and basically, the rules for anyone moving into a new development would come under the understanding that if the developer installed street lights, it would be under their care and maintenance.
Alderman Leahy said that regarding lights on state or county roads in Ballwin, this should be paid for by State and County.
A motion was made by Alderman Leahy and seconded by Alderman Harder to draft legislation regarding lights on State and County roads, that it should be paid for by the State and County.
Mayor Pogue amended the motion that staff attempt discussions with the appropriate authorities or political boundaries within the State and County. City Administrator Kuntz said that the Great Streets Plan calls for supplemental lighting along Manchester Road.
A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result, and the motion passed.
Alderman Boerner asked has there been a response from Ameren related to the contract changes? City Administrator Kuntz said no. The last communication was about two months ago. They said they will take our proposed language and review it with their legal department and get back with us. Since then, we have received two bills and reflected the municipal discount.
Alderman Boerner said, what was sent was modifications to the existing agreement without any request for specific negotiating points. City Administrator Kuntz said, the current contract expired in August. We were asked to renew the contract. Subject to the Board’s direction, we proposed new language to give the City a flexibility that was not reflected in the language of the current contract. City Attorney Jones and Mr. Kuntz made efforts known to Ameren and provided the draft in a timely fashion. We have not heard any response from Ameren.
Alderman Boerner said there were not any negotiating points that were indicated in the communication with Ameren. City Administrator Kuntz said this is correct. We simply asked for the flexibility to look at other options, including energy efficiency, ownership, and other points. We asked that the language be included.
Alderman Boerner said he believes it was the desire of the Board to find out what were the opportunities to buy out the poles. Alderman Leahy said it’s his recollection that we were not going to do anything until we heard from Ameren. City Administrator Kuntz said this was his understanding. Alderman Leahy said that the Board should not discuss this any longer because we are on the record, we’re waiting for their response. When we get their response, the Board can discuss this further. He said we agreed that we were going to wait until Ameren responded to our last letter. We haven’t heard anything from them. We’re done.
Mayor Pogue said that at this point, we are still waiting to hear from Ameren’s legal department.
Kehrs Mill Road: Mayor Pogue said Krupp did a fantastic job on this project. There were no complaints from residents. He said he has a concern about one spot. On southbound Holloway next to Target, there’s a severe bump where the new asphalt goes into the old asphalt. He asked for staff to check with Krupp to make this repair.
Water Main Breaks: Mayor Pogue said that American Water is replacing the water line along Lark Hill and Brookside, and a section on Dennison. What are the plans for street repair in those areas? City Engineer Kramer said everything will put back to the existing condition.
Mayor Pogue said that two water mains have been replaced on Ramsey. They made the saw cuts but not the repairs. One main broke over 3 months ago. City Engineer Kramer said that their own crews repair the break, and then hire a company to make permanent pavement repairs. Mayor Pogue said he has concerns about this because snow season is approaching. Alderman Terbrock said that the patch on the upper end of Ramsey is on a big corner. This can cause a vehicle accident or damage. This is not a safe situation at all. City Engineer Kramer said he will contact the water company to see if they can expedite the complete repair.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Surveillance System: City Administrator Kuntz this was removed from Consent Items at Alderman Harder’s request. Alderman Harder said that Captain Boswell did very thorough research. He asked how much is in the fund to pay for this system? Police Chief Schicker said there is close to $100,000 or somewhat less. City Administrator Kuntz said these funds are restricted in application and can only be used for non-budgeted, non-routine, non-recurrent police related expenses. This is not a fund that has unrestricted application. These funds are audited separately to insure compliance with the guidelines.
Police Chief Schicker said that if he had known that we were not going to be able to get service for this item or replacement for the DVR system, it would have been in the budget for either 2012 or 2013. This is an emergency move to try to fix the problem. The current system is analog, and the new system is digital. The estimated life expectancy of the current system was 6-8 years. We were under the belief in 2006 that we would be able to get upgrades to extend the life of the system. We found out this year that we could not do this. The upgrade equipment is not available. The life expectancy of the new system on the DVR is 7-10 years and the cameras are 15 years. Technology is changing so rapidly, that the manufacturer has moved on to the next grade. Additional cameras have been added to the RFP compared to what we currently have for more coverage.
Alderman Dogan asked if there are needs for cameras for Parks & Recreation and other locations to obtain cost savings? Police Chief Schicker said this system has a capability of handling 64 digital cameras. That will allow for additional cameras to be hooked up to the system. Currently, there are no plans to connect into this, but the capability is there.
Alderman Dogan asked if there are plans for additional cameras for the Board room renovation. City Administrator Kuntz said the plan is to integrate into the current surveillance. This will include the public and access areas, since concerns have been expressed regarding the public meeting space. There will be coverage on the new access point as well.
A motion was made by Alderman Harder and seconded by Alderman Kerlagon to accept the recommendation for the surveillance system and that the contract be awarded to Beishir Lock and Security. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Log Cabin Repairs: City Administrator Kuntz said it is recommended that the contract be awarded to the second to lowest bidder, Best Buy Builders. The lowest bidder was unable to secure the necessary materials to perform the work as proposed. This is a specialized type of project because most companies don’t stock these materials. It’s an authentic application to try to keep the cabin in good condition.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to award the contract to Best Buy Builders in an amount not to exceed $8,000. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Parking Restriction: City Administrator Kuntz said this is regarding no parking restriction on a street that has caused issues with the refuse collection contractor, as well as the residents. The request is that parking be restricted on Hollybend Drive, as recommended by Police Chief Schicker and City Engineer Kramer. Legislative action would be requested to accomplish this change. This would be no parking during the daytime collection hours of refuse on the one day only, since refuse/recycling/yard waste pickup will all be on one day starting January 1.
Mayor Pogue said he recommends that this be done on a case-by-case basis, rather than on cul-de-sacs citywide. He said that Allied Waste has also expressed the same complaints as the residents. The restricted parking would only be on the one day that refuse service is provided.
Alderman Harder said that this is a good suggestion, and he believes that there will be more requests of this nature in the future. He asked if an ordinance could be prepared that will address this issue for cul-de-sacs. City Attorney Jones said generally, no parking is the exception to the rule of free travel on a particular street. If there is going to be no parking, an ordinance should be adopted. This can be put in place by the Board and does not need a resident petition. Legislation is needed.
Alderman Kerlagon said that does this mean that on that one day, there would be no parking on the cul-de-sac. Mayor Pogue said this is correct and is similar to school zones. The no parking would not be over night, just from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., or whatever time is the refuse pickup time. Mayor Pogue said signs would be posted so that there would be no parking between the signs.
City Engineer Kramer said that the trash hauler would be consulted to find out what day pick up is performed on a specific street. That will be the day of the week that is included on the sign.
A motion was made by Alderman Harder and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to draft legislation for no parking on the Hollybend cul-de-sac on trash pickup days. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
2013 Street Improvements: City Administrator Kuntz said it has always been the goal to try to divide the dollars based on percentage of streets within a ward, and to apply the dollars as equitably as possible. He said City Engineer Kramer has done a good job on this preparation. There are some streets that are extensions of what we had done in 2012. Some streets, such as Twigwood, with the length of the street, will have to be done in sections. This will be a two-phase project. With Board’s approval, this will be bid on a unit price basis. By the time the contract is awarded, we will have a good indication of what the winter season was with respect to salt utilization and other factors. In the event that there are additional funds and a favorable bid situation, we may be able to present a supplemental list to add to what we are doing. This was done in the previous two years, by taking part of the salt budget, which is part of the re-appropriation ordinance, and applied it towards slabs. We try to retain as much flexibility as possible.
Alderman Kerlagon asked where on Twigwood will the repairs start? City Engineer Kramer said the budget plan is to start at New Ballwin Road and proceed east on Twigwood.
Alderman Harder said that when this is finalized, he would like to see this on the website. City Administrator Kuntz said this will be placed on the website.
LAGERS Upgrade: City Administrator Kuntz said this is regarding the generalization requirements by the Missouri Pension Board for the potential change to L7 benefit level. He said that Finance Officer Keller has recommended that specific language should be adopted by reference, which is language of intent for consideration, and a second formal action which would be legislative at the January 14 Board meeting, to enable moving forward with the July 1 implementation date.
Mayor Pogue said that this is a notification that the change could take place, but does not tie the Board’s hands if they decide not to make this change. This is strictly a legal notification that we are possibly changing from L3 to L7.
Alderman Boerner said his calculations are close; however, he used 10, 20, 30,40. What was used in the calculation was 15, 25, 35. He said he evaluated different salary levels ranging from $40,000 to $150,000. He came up with numbers that are close to the actuarial evaluation.
Mayor Pogue asked if the Board is ready to publish the legal posting, to have the option for further discussion, and possibly take any action at the January 14 meeting. Alderman Boerner said he prefers discussing this sooner than January 14. Mayor Pogue said the notice has to be posted 45 days before taking any formal action. This doesn’t mean that action will be taken at the January 14 meeting, but the notice has to be posted. Alderman Boerner said he is hoping that action will be taken before then, in terms of making a decision. Mayor Pogue said right now, formal action cannot be taken before the January 14 meeting if the Board decides to make the change from L3 to L7.
City Administrator Kuntz said there are two actions to be taken. One is the action with LAGERS, which is a commitment to change the plan. Then there will be a discussion that brought it to this level, which is the budgetary commitment in terms of finances. The budget will be addressed and resolved before the end of 2012. There are two actions that are separate, but related.
Mayor Pogue said posting the notice does not obligate the Board to make the change. It gives the opportunity to change from L3 to L7 if the Board wants to do this. The numbers are included in the budget. Alderman Boerner said if we are going to approve the budget, the analysis and discussion should be done now before the budget is approved. Mayor Pogue said that the notice still has to be posted 45 days before approval. That’s all that is being asked for approval at this time. It’s not obligating the Board to approve the change.
Alderman Boerner said he has concerns about the pension plan and compensation in terms of how it was calculated. He said he would be in favor of having a larger amount that would be given to the police officers.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Boerner to approve the required posting. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
2013 Budget: City Administrator Kuntz said the Board has been provided with the highlights and cost implications, as well as the revenue projections of what the 2013 financial plan would look like, based on the discussions that we’ve had to date. On the expenditure side, compared with the projections for year-end totals, after the re-appropriations, and revenue projections for 2013 come up with a budget for 2013 that would be achieving balance if a portion of this year’s projected carry over were applied to 2013. The official audit report for the period of December 31, 2011, pegged our unrestricted reserve fund balance at $6,600,000. The 2012 projections are that we will actually have an unexpended balance to move forward of $970,000 / $984,753. That’s taking all of our expenses from this date forward, projecting them based on historical data to the end of the year, and taking a look at our revenue receipts from this point, plus what we anticipate receiving through the remainder of the fiscal period. Those two numbers would essentially give a carry over or a reserve forward of another $984,000.
City Administrator Kuntz said, the budget, with the work sheets and the overviews from each department reflect a spending plan that would require to achieve balance, the application of $600,000 of the $984,000. This means that if you have 6.6 now in unrestricted reserves, and you add 384, it would be very close to a $7,000,000 unrestricted reserve fund balance and one final year of payment on the debt which is $624,000 in the fiscal period ahead, which is 2013. Each of the department heads has compiled a snapshot of what’s major and different in 2013. Of the $600,000, the lions share is going to be related to the compensation factors, both a 3% merit adjustment with an April 1 effective date. Not everyone will get this increase, but it is budgeted, according to previous Board direction; and to increase the pension level from L3 to L7 with a July 1 effective date.
City Administrator Kuntz said that we are not planning on any additional employment positions, but personnel related costs will be included with insurance. There are two Board meeting left in 2012 and the budget needs to be in final form for adoption in mid-December.
Alderman Boerner asked how is the money being freed up from payment of the bonds? There was a specific purpose for the bonds. City Administrator Kuntz said it’s not that narrow and restricted. For the past few years, we have been shifting from eliminating debt. When the debt goes away, we still are improving and maintaining streets. We looked very carefully at the ballot language for Parks and Capital Improvement Sales Tax. It is being allocated and expended in accordance with those legal guidelines. You may not build another community center, but it has to be maintained. We may not build another Government Center, but may have to replace the roof. As long as we put capital money to capital related maintenance, we are fulfilling our obligation of the bond issues. There’s a tremendous amount of maintenance in the Parks budget. The only major project is the phase one of the Ferris Park project. That is subject to receive almost a matching grant to do the construction. We continue to do maintenance.
City Administrator Kuntz said that with input from Finance Officer Keller is to have the Board consider a special fund that actually takes a portion of the unrestricted fund balance and puts it only toward certain applications unless there’s a super majority. This allows money for a grant opportunity and don’t have to use the entire street project because of waiting for the Federal Government to reimburse for a project like Kehrs Mill Road.
Alderman Boerner said this will be done after the debt is paid down. City Administrator Kuntz said he wants to have the conversation starting in January so that we don’t come into next September cold. We have a plan in place. Last year, he specifically referenced that we need to come up with a long-range plan for the allocation of resources for the future of this community. That dialog hasn’t been completed.
Alderman Boerner said his question is how will the amount of the funds be freed up and how the funds will be used. City Administrator Kuntz said that part will be policy direction from the Board. One of the reasons that we split the proposed improvements from JEMA was so that we wouldn’t take a major impact in this fiscal period. With Board approval, he said he is looking at in 2014, for the necessary improvements at the Government Center, such as public restrooms and other important areas. These improvements will be done incrementally. When we are debt free at the end of 2013, there will be even more flexibility.
Alderman Boerner asked about the normal on-going maintenance expense. City Administrator Kuntz said an upgrade is planned for energy efficiency and mechanical upgrade at The Pointe. There are factors in the operating plan that are beyond our control. Two years ago, we thought the price of gas would be X amount, and then the price almost doubled.
Alderman Boerner asked, for this cycle, is the $250,000 that are out outstanding obligation under the TIF, being paid? City Administrator Kuntz said that historically, we paid a portion of it. That’s the maximum liability. We did not pay near that amount this year. He said he is optimistic with what’s happening at Olde Towne Plaza. There will be 100% occupancy by January 1. For the first time, we will see all those store with tenants. There’s still an exposure, but it’s covered under our financial plan for 2013 because that’s our legal obligation, if, their numbers fall short. We don’t pay anything if their numbers are on target.
Finance Officer Keller said that Alderman Boerner prepared schedule 1, which showed June 2011, compared to June 2012 figures. He was comparing those to a separate schedule, dated June 30, 2011, that had been provided to the Board. The expense figures on those two reports don’t match. The reason is that the figures on his schedule 1 come from a special financial statement that is prepared on a cash basis, and is required by state statute to be published. Typically the financial statements are not prepared on a cash basis. The reports that were provided to the Board were not on a cash basis, which is how they are prepared each month. A difference of $509,000 is attributable to expenses that were paid in January and February, 2011, that were accrued as expenses in 2010.
Alderman Boerner asked, why was there a difference between 2011 and 2012, that we implied 17.8% negative cash flow? Finance Officer Keller said the negative implied cash flow is primarily a function of the change in the capital fund. We budgeted a decrease in the cash flow for the capital fund. The budgeted amount was 68% for the year. At 6 months, the decrease was 54%. The operating fund had a cash flow increase budgeted. At the 6 months for 2012, it was 30%, which offsets the 54% decrease in the capital fund to come up with the negative 17.8%. It was a planned decrease through the budget.
Alderman Boerner said the net number between the general and capital fund, which shows an increase in revenues of 3.2% and an increase in expenditures of 8.7%. We use primarily a cash basis during the interim reporting. This has historically been done. He said he is concerned about getting reliable information. He asked, are you changing this to accrue some things at the end of the month? Ms. Keller said, not anything that hasn’t been accrued in the past. The revenues are match cash basis with the monthly financial statements. The expenses are different because there are expenses that are accrued at the end of the fiscal year, that get paid out the next year. Those don’t get reversed until the next audit.
Alderman Boerner said we had the same issue with the revenues. The revenues were accrued at the end of the year and then reversed. That means our revenues were understated by two months on sales tax and one month on the utility tax. Ms. Keller said there haven’t been any changes in how this is reported.
Alderman Boerner said that if we are not accruing the same things that the auditors accrue on a monthly basis, and our expenditures are going to be understated if we reverse what they’ve accrued, and we don’t accrue them on a monthly basis until……. Ms. Keller said, we’re not reversing what they’ve accrued until the end of the year. Alderman Boerner said you’re reversing the revenues so that the cash flow, as it comes in, is going to be accurate in terms of the cash flow on the revenues. Ms. Keller said this is correct.
Alderman Harder said Ms. Keller’s e-mail presented a good analysis. He recommended that Alderman Boerner and Finance Officer Keller work out the details and report back to the Board at the next meeting. Alderman Harder suggested that at the next meeting, only the budget and LAGERS be discussed for the balance of the meeting.
City Administrator Kuntz said each of the department overviews will provide good information. Electricity is up on the sheet because we are expecting a rate increase. The same amount is budgeted for gasoline ($3.50/gal.) which is the same as we did for 2012. We are budgeting for a 10% Ameren rate hike, but not expecting the impact from that until May or June because it doesn’t get approved until April. It’s all incorporated in our numbers. City Engineer Kramer is not going to use last year’s experience for salt. He went back five years, and Parks cannot use the North Pointe revenues for 2012 because this was not considered a good representation. Sales tax was based on the five new businesses, calling other cities, trying to figure what the gross receipts would be for those stores that are located in other communities. If we get one more big vacancy, that will throw the forecast out the window. We’re always conservative.
Alderman Boerner asked, should the compensation and LAGERS upgrade be discussed before approval at the next meeting? Alderman Harder said there are three main topics: compensation, LAGERS, and overall budget that needs to be decided before the end of December. There are two meetings left to do this. He said the Board needs to focus on these three topics.
City Administrator Kuntz said, if there is no motion to put this on the agenda for approval at the next Board meeting, then there will have to be a special meeting. The document must be finished before the end of the year.
Alderman Boerner said, staff developed a methodology regarding the wage discrepancy and it came out to be about $407,000. He said he calculated, using a different methodology, and it was not compressing the salaries. It repositioned on any increase, all the employees affected, the same relative position that they were under the old rate system, and it came out to be $287,000. Staff came up with 43% more than he came up with using that methodology. He said there were 91 employees, which was 4.2% of the total full time employee compensation, which is about 6.9%. It’s 4.2% and 5.9%. He said the police department at the entry level has been substantially below. There have been comments by Mayor Pogue and Alderman Terbrock to get the police officers up to a competitive salary. If doing this is 4.2% of the overall salary, and taking into consideration that we have a 1.3% inflation. We should discuss how this should be done.
Alderman Boerner said that his calculation of LAGERS came out very close when taking into consideration both LAGERS and Social Security. What’s fair and reasonable in providing a retirement benefit for the employees. If we take out to 40 years, someone who is earning $40,000 per year, under L3, they will get a retirement that’s 88% of their compensation for the last three years. If you gross that up for Social Security because they aren’t going to be having Social Security deducted out of their salary, they will have a pre-retirement equivalent income of 95% under L3. That decreases to at $80,000 would be 88%, $60,000 is 90%, and $50,000 is 92%, so you go to L7. L7 at $40,000 if it is grossed up would be 106% of pre-retirement compensation, 103% at $50,000, and it goes to 94% at $100,000. What is fair and reasonable retirement benefit. This is why he said he wants to discuss this further.
Mayor Pogue asked how likely is it that we will have employees with 40 years of service? City Administrator Kuntz said that there are 2 employees that have high seniority. One has about 35 years. Alderman Boerner asked what do we want to do as a city, and how does this compare with the private sector?
Alderman Fleming said if there is anything that needs further discussion, what is it and what information is needed, because there are only two meetings left this year. This budget for 2013 reflects 3% and going from L3 to L7. That is reflected in this budget. We don’t need further discussion on this unless someone is having second thoughts about doing this for the employees. He said what Alderman Boerner is talking about is what is still on the table to redo our overall compensation plan, and that’s still up in the air on what we do and how we do it. That shouldn’t be confused with this budget. We don’t have time to put in a new compensation plan between now and the end of the year.
Alderman Boerner said the Board did not say that we were going to approve L7. It’ just in the budget. This is information that if we approve the budget, then we approve L7. Mayor Pogue and City Administrator Kuntz said that is incorrect because formal action has not been taken. All that’s been done is a re-appropriation of the budget to show the change. City Administrator Kuntz said that there are dollars in the budget for this, but an ordinance has to be passed to authorize this to happen. There are dollars in the budget for a lot of things, but that doesn’t mean that all of those items will be done and money spent on them. Anything over $5,000 must have Board approval. If the money for an item is not expended, it goes back into reserves.
Alderman Boerner said it was his understanding that this was going to be discussed later, before the budget was approved. City Administrator Kuntz said there have been three meetings regarding compensation. We started with the 70th percentile, went to the average, from the average to 3 years, and asked for more information. Alderman Boerner said the fundamental issue was the methodology that was used in terms of how staff arrived at $407,000. City Administrator Kuntz said it was his understanding that Alderman Boerner met with the author of the methodology, Ms. Morrison, and Finance Officer. It appeared that there was agreement.
Alderman Boerner said we left the meeting saying that there may be a better way to do this because there was compression and $407,000. This is what he did in response to that meeting. He said that Assistant City Administrator Aiken suggested that the closer employees get to the maximum on a given range, the increase is less. That’s what this accomplishes. There’s no compression. He suggested that this be done for all of the other 51 employees. He said it took him about 2 hours to calculate this information that he is presenting.
City Administrator Kuntz said that the Board can proceed with this budget. The compensation increase doesn’t go into effect until April. The pension adjustment would go into effect on July 1. Alderman Boerner said he takes exception to the fact that the Board was told that we were at the 70th percentile. Police officers were apparently told the same thing. They were way below that, and even below the 50 percentile. He said the way he figured it will take $168,000 just to get the patrolmen to the average. He thinks that is more important than anything else, which is to rectify that problem. He said he relied upon the representation of City Administrator Kuntz that we were at the 70th percentile, and have frequently been told this, and we were not. He said this situation should be fixed. Policemen and everyone else should be first. That should be priority #1. That’s not done in this budget. If that additional appropriation is made, there should be guidance as to how that is implemented from the Board.
Mayor Pogue said, staff recommendation initially was 2%. The Board decided to take the merit increase up 1% to see where that would line us up in relation to the comparison cities. The other option was to increase the pension plan also. He said he asked about health insurance, compared to other cities. We might be paying less per hour, but covering more health insurance costs.
Alderman Boerner said taking care of the police officers should be priority number one. The pension is independent of the compensation. Mayor Pogue said that he disagrees, it is more of a total package. This should be evaluated, rather than just the compensation. The big picture should be considered what other cities are paying.
Alderman Boerner said this is not a comparison to the 70th percentile. It’s a comparison to the average and the adjustment from the average in the methodology staff was using, which was $407,000 instead of $287,000. He said there are two actuarial factors that go into figuring out if you are under funded or over funded, as far as the pension is concerned. One is the 7 ¼% interest rate of return, which is very high, because they’ve only had 5.8% over the last five years. The other is a 3 ½ % increase in the salaries, that’s assumed as part of the actuarial evaluation. He said he thinks what the Police Department was told during a meeting with LAGERS was that other cities were increasing salaries at a greater rate than we were. That may or may not be true, because the implied rate is 7 ¼%, which is higher than the actual rate, but that’s a 30-year average. Everything that LAGERS does in terms of the actuarial, they do it based upon an implied 30-year average. In 1986, when there was 10% or 12% inflation rate, we gave bigger salary increases than 2% or 3%. That’s what the 3 ½% is. It’s an average anticipating that inflation is going to go up. But they try to keep everything on a steady base and a 30-year average.
Alderman Finley said it’s his understanding that the Board can approve the budget and come up with a new policy at the beginning of the year as to how to allocate. The LAGERS issue can be decided in the January meeting. He said that Alderman Boerner has discussed issues that are meaningful to him and might be persuasive to re-evaluate to use L3 or L7.
Mayor Pogue asked what would be the latest date to take formal action to comply with the timeframe for changing to L7? Finance Officer Keller said a few months.
Alderman Fleming said we asked staff to include the 3% compensation and a move from L3 to L7 in the budget numbers. They have done exactly what the Board asked. He suggested that if the Board wants something else done for the police specifically, a very simply stated motion should be presented such as, I propose that we offer the police an additional 2% plus $50 for each year of service, or something else that can be very simply stated and understood. Otherwise, after everyone is finished studying the whole compensation plan, it could be addressed at that time. If Alderman Boerner wants something addressed now, a simply stated motion needs to be made and ask for something specific.
Alderman Boerner said he thinks the staff methodology was flawed in the way it was computed. He said he thinks this should be further discussed in depth. He said he would be prepared to make a motion at that time.
Alderman Fleming recommended that the topic of compensation be put on the January workshop agenda. Since the last meeting, he has done extensive review on this. The Missouri Municipal League website contains two documents regarding compensation plans. There is also a city survey on the website that includes many Missouri cities. Having read all of the information on the website, he said he still doesn’t have an opinion on the method to use, and he doesn’t see a simple solution for all of the Board to agree on this subject.
Alderman Harder said when the Board voted on the 3%, he understood that this was a stopgap measure from the standpoint that, here’s 3% merit pay, some get 4%, some get 2%, and that when that shakes out based on performance, we go back and look at those jobs and see if we still need to adjust on certain jobs, or not, and what that number would be. Mayor Pogue said that was also his understanding. Alderman Harder said that’s what was voted on at that meeting, the 3%. If we go back and re-assess all the surveyed cities, they are probably going up 3% also. He said his question after the last meeting was are we missing something, especially in police pay, from the standpoint, is a city giving a $1,000 equipment allowance, and another city isn’t, or is a city paying more for health care than we are.
City Administrator Kuntz said his understanding is that benefits and working conditions and are fairly comparable throughout the County. Any differences are not significant from our observations. Alderman Fleming said if you look at the 2009 survey on the Municipal website, you will come to the same conclusion.
Alderman Harder said we have built in 3%, L7 LAGERS into the budget, and if the budget is approved and decide to make adjustments, this can be amended. If we decide to stay at L3, it will be a savings and show up on the budget.
Alderman Boerner said he is not at all comfortable with the compensation issue. He said this should be addressed before budget approval. If $287,000, which is 4.2%, is how much it would take at least from the number of employees provided by staff, in total, that would be 4.2%. He is especially sympathetic with the Police Department. We need to determine if an average pay is acceptable. This has not been decided. We said we can’t do that because the amount is $407,000. It’s not $407,000. It’s $287,000. He said he doesn’t see any reason to let this fester and kick the can down the road, when we can do this right away and get this taken care of. He said he has done substantial work on this. He met with Finance Officer Denise Keller and Human Resource Coordinator Haley Morrison. He said he told them that he would come up with a different methodology. This is something that should be done now. It’s too large a discrepancy. Staff figured $237,000 among patrolmen. He figured $167,000.
A motion was made by Alderman Boerner to evaluate the alternate methodology and develop a policy with respect to compensation before the budget is approved, and see what the impact will be.
Alderman Finley asked who would be doing this? Alderman Boerner said the Board would be doing it. He said he has come up with a methodology that is fair and equitable, and rectifies the discrepancy as far as the compensation. He said we don’t have a compensation policy. Alderman Finley said he appreciates the work Alderman Boerner has done and this approach could be very good. There needs to be a breakdown of the explanation of how the alternate methodology was achieved, showing figures. This is needed to support the numbers in Alderman Boerner’s approach. He said the motion is premature because this could be brought back at the next meeting.
Alderman Leahy said he will second the motion, but will vote against the motion.
The motion was seconded by Alderman Leahy. A voice vote was taken with the following result: Aye: Boerner, Finley. Nay: Terbrock, Dogan, Harder, Fleming, Leahy, Kerlagon. The motion failed by a vote of 2 – 6.
Mayor Pogue said the direction for staff is to include in the budget a 3% merit compensation increase, and a change from L3 to L7 in LAGERS, with official action at a later date.
City Administrator Kuntz said it is his understanding that staff should proceed with preparations of the budget for 2013. The budget has to be presented to the Planning & Zoning Commission on December 3.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Leahy to prepare legislation, finalize budget preparations and the capital improvement plan, and present it to the Planning & Zoning Commission in December. A voice vote was taken with the following result:
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
American Arms Store – Selling antique and used firearms: City Attorney Jones said from a zoning standpoint, we have C-1 Commercial District regulations that allow for the sale and display of new merchandise, and also used merchandise, based on a 25% gross floor area and 25% of annual gross receipts. This applies across the board to everyone we typically think of as a retail merchant. We also have in the special district, Special Use Exception regulations, one that applies only to the sale of antique or used firearms in the C-1 district. It’s inconsistent with the permitted uses within the C-1 district. It also provides for no more than 25% of the annual gross receipts from antique and used firearms. It seems that there’s a duplication and also a conflict. We don’t do anything to regulate the retail sale of new firearms, but we do antique and used firearms. He suggested that an ordinance be adopted which repeals Subsection 16, Article 14, with regard to antique or used firearms, and allow them to be controlled by the same criteria from a zoning standpoint as all other retail merchants in the C-1 Commercial District.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Fleming to prepare legislation to be reviewed by the Planning & Zoning Commission.
Alderman Dogan asked what types of regulations are involved that would apply to the antique merchandise? City Attorney Jones said there would not be any. It would be treated no differently than any other retail merchant who wishes to sell both new and used merchandise. It would be governed by the same criteria.
Alderman Harder asked if this is pertaining to firearms, or just between new and used merchandise for anyone? City Attorney Jones said, that’s what our existing commercial district regulations say with regard to all permitted uses. There is also a special section in the conditional use section that deals only with antique or used firearms. On one hand, it seems to suggest that they should be treated the same as other retail merchants, but on the other hand, it suggests that if a part of the business is devoted to antique or used firearms, they should have to get a conditional use permit and treated different. Those two things are in conflict with each other.
Alderman Harder asked, right now, the business is under what assumption? City Attorney Jones said, that they can only sell new firearms within the C-1 Commercial District, but that there may be a conflict with conditional uses for antique and used firearms. He said a permitted use controls over a conditional use. If something is permitted, they don’t have to get a conditional use to sell antique and used firearms.
City Attorney Jones said they can sell used firearms as long as it doesn’t occupy more than 25% of the gross floor space or more than 25% of their annual revenue.
A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Closed Session: Mayor Pogue asked for a closed session regarding personnel and security systems, under 610.021.19 and 610.021.21.
Adjourn to Closed Session: A motion was made by Alderman Harder and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to adjourn to closed session to discuss personnel and security related issues, in accordance with Missouri Statute 610.021.19 and 610.021.21. 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 9:15 p.m.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming 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 9:28 p.m.
The Board reconvened in open session at 9:30 p.m.
Mayor Pogue stated that the Board met in closed session to discuss personnel and security. No votes were taken.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Fleming to allow staff discretion to withhold sensitive personnel, security, and certain personal citizen information from public dissemination via the City of Ballwin website. A roll call vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
TIM POGUE, MAYOR