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REGULAR MEETING OF
THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
Mayor Csordas called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Csordas, Mayor Pro Tem Landry, Council Members Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy* and Paul
ALSO PRESENT: Rick Helwig – City Manager
Craig Klaver – Chief Operating Officer
Gerald Fisher – City Attorney
Kathy Smith-Roy – Finance Director
Stephanie Sharpe – Budget Analyst
Doug Shaeffer – Police Chief
Randy Auler – Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Director
David Evancoe – Planning Director
Barb McBeth – City Planner
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Member Gatt wished to add to the agenda to suspend the rules of Council in order to reconsider the matter of Hooters liquor license transfer without giving notice, as #7 under Matters for Council Action.
Member Lorenzo stated her concern of adding Member Gatt’s request to the agenda, that the public was not aware of the item being added to the agenda. If the item was planned for the agenda she would not have had a problem with it, but she would not support the agenda with the item because she did not feel it was fair to the public, as the issue is one "of gravity in the community."
Member Capello wished to add item #8 under Matters for Council Action, establishment of a committee to study engineering services and department and submit a report to City Council before goals setting.
Mayor Csordas inquired what the purpose of this item was.
Member Capello replied that the purpose was to study the City’s engineering services and the Engineering Department to have a report ready for Council at the time it establishes its goals in order to determine if engineering should continue in-house or whether it should be outsourced to consultants.
Member Paul said she would not be able to support adding the new items to the agenda, specifically item #7, as this is why the City has public hearings.
CM-04-05-182 Moved by Capello, seconded by Gatt; MOTION CARRIED: To approve the agenda as amended.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-182 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt
Nays: Lorenzo, Paul
BUDGET DELIBERATIONS – Continuation of ongoing budget discussion.
*Member Nagy arrived at 6:37 p.m.
Member Capello noted that Council had previously reviewed the budget for several hours.
CM-04-05-183 Moved by Capello, seconded by Landry; MOTION CARRIED: To amend the budget document as stated prior to that evening’s meeting, and including the following amendments: To remove the additional dispatcher in the Police Department; to allocate funds to upgrade an existing patrolman to in-house Sergeant to start January 1, 2005, plus approximately $10,000 to make up the difference in those wages (the City would still have the two additional approved sergeants and one additional road patrol officer); to allocate $50,000 to the judgment trust fund; to reinstate the position of Planning Director and the budgeted amount for that position; to allocate the balance of those monies, $28,000, to the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department for its Director to utilize as he sees fit.
Mayor Csordas summarized the motion: to approve the budget as it currently stood; to remove a dispatcher; to reallocate funds to promote an in-house Sergeant, which would include an additional $10,000 for a January 1 effective date; to reinstate the position of Planning Director; to allocate $50,000 to the judgment trust fund. He asked if he had missed anything from Member Capello’s motion.
Member Capello said the motion also included allocating the balance of those monies to the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department to be utilized as that department’s director chooses.
Mayor Csordas asked Member Capello if he knew how much money that would be.
Member Capello said he believed the amount was about $28,000.
Member Lorenzo said that as she understood it, the dispatcher position was not actually funded. She asked how many dispatchers Member Capello wished to go to. As she understood from Ms. Smith-Roy, the overfill or 17th position, was taken out of personal services. Sometimes personal services has more money than it needs, sometimes it has less. That position is not actually funded.
Member Capello said the motion would actually reduce the number of dispatchers from 16 to 15.
Member Lorenzo said that Chief Shaeffer had said he would like to keep the number of dispatchers at 16.
Member Capello said he thought the Chief had said he could work with 15 dispatchers.
Member Lorenzo asked Chief Shaeffer to clarify the matter.
Chief Shaeffer said that the Police Department has 16 dispatchers, and he is also authorized one additional dispatcher, bringing the total to 17 people. If Council were to drop one dispatcher position and kept the additional overage, he could make this work.
Member Capello said the proposal would leave 15 dispatchers with the 16th being an overage.
Chief Shaeffer said this was correct.
Mr. Helwig asked to describe the overfill so that people could understand the position. When the City Council sets an authorized strength level, be it for police officers or the number of dispatchers, that is the amount of funding that is set aside. The reason that the City had authorized an overfill was not because there was more money, but because of the frequent turnover that was being experienced. Administration wanted to stay ahead of the game as much as possible. By going from 16 full-time dispatchers to 15, there cannot be a 16th overfill position all year long because it would exceed the appropriation. The City has the position some of the time, depending on if the number goes below the 15 authorized, so that the average for the year attempts to hit the number of authorized dispatchers, be it 15 or be it 16. Otherwise, the City does not hit the authorized strength if a great deal of turnover is experienced like the Police Department used to have. This turnover has calmed down now because of changes authorized by Council.
Mayor Csordas noted that the authorized strength with the motion would be 15, and the funding to support the dispatchers would be for 15. He asked if the number would float to 16 when the City anticipates a determination or turnover, or how the system would work.
Chief Shaeffer said the system was as Mr. Helwig had described. When a vacancy occurs, the Police Department would have to recruit very vigorously to maintain that 15th-person level.
Member Lorenzo noted that Council was only deliberating the budget, but was not actually adopting the budget, which was item #1 under Matters for Council Action. She would not be favorable to the motion.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry felt that what Member Capello had proposed was a reasonable compromise. There had been a great deal of discussions at the budget sessions centering around Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, and what the priorities are and are not. This compromise puts an extra sergeant upstairs, reinstates the Planning Director position, puts $50,000 into the judgment trust fund, and allocates $28,000 to the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department, allowing that department to appropriate the money according to its priorities. He does not feel that it is City Council’s job to tell the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department how to spend its money. This is a good compromise in the best interest of the City and he would support the motion.
Member Paul said she appreciated the amendment. She asked for a clarification on whether the one police officer would be staying with the three sergeants.
Mayor Csordas said he believed that from a previous Council discussion, there was another officer added at that time. This would be an additional sergeant, as the other officer is already included.
Member Paul said she knew that Member Capello was trying to make a compromise, but said that four people allocated to the Police Department was not much of a compromise. She had specifically asked Mr. Helwig and Council if it would set goals prior to the budget session. Her number one goal is still parks and recreation, and Council would put four people in the Police Department even though she had heard Chief Shaeffer say that the City could use forfeiture funds to put another sergeant or officer in place. She felt that Council should take the opportunity to take the forfeiture funds and use the money when it becomes appropriated and put the third sergeant position in place, perhaps even an officer at that time. She would not support the motion for this reason. She felt that Council was being very fair in going to 12-hour shifts for the sergeants. If the union does not agree to the 12-hour shifts, Council will have the money to allocate as it needs.
Member Gatt said he felt that Member Capello’s motion was a good compromise. This is a city with 50,000 people, and it is at least 15 police officers shy of the FBI’s standards. Chief Shaeffer had said that a sergeant upstairs would be a tremendous help to the Police Department. Forfeiture funds can only be used for personnel for one year. To use forfeiture funds for a building, a pistol range, or whatever Council were to decide upon at the time, is something that will live on and on forever. To use the forfeiture funds for personnel would be a mistake. The citizens of the community desire and are entitled to a Police Department that meets the FBI standards. If this amendment were to pass, it would take the City one step closer to meeting those standards.
Member Nagy felt that Council was in a very difficult position. As the Finance Director had stated in the Detroit Free Press, the City has to ask itself if it can continue to keep adding staff and services to the level that it is expected to, as there is no capital in this budget. One of the things that she is trying to accomplish as a Council member is to accommodate the needs of City administration, as well as the taxpayer. This is a very difficult position to be in because in order to accommodate people, cuts must be made from various places. She realizes that the City does not have the necessary finances right now, but she feels that the City should have an independent operational audit of each department. It would also benefit the City to perform a trend analysis of the five to ten years of past spending and project that into the next three years of spending. Since the City is 3/4th of the way built out, she felt there should be a projection for the tax revenue that the City will be generating as it approaches build-out. It is very important that the City do an operational audit with an independent auditor.
Member Nagy stated that she could not support the motion. During the second Saturday meeting, Council found many little places to draw money from and put it into certain funds. She believes that the needs of staff are very important, but so are the needs of the taxpayer. The Novi youth baseball kids pay a fee to play baseball in the City, and they deserve adequate fields. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires the City to update parks so that those who are disabled can use the parks just as much as others. Those areas are very important, and with the $146,000 that Council found at the last meeting, Council was thinking of allocating $70,000 to ADA improvements. That would cover 3/4ths of the spending requirements of $125,000. She had checked with former councils and mayors, and it is not unusual for the Council and City Manager to go through the budget on a line item basis, as this has been the past practice. The Fire Department is applying for grants for masks. The matching fund for this would be $19,950, and this is not included in the budget. Council has tried to give all departments a little in the budget. Staff is getting something, taxpayers are getting something, and this is important because it is the taxpayer who provides the money for the budget in the first place.
Mayor Csordas recalled that the original budget request included new police positions, police vehicles that are required by negotiated agreement, two new firefighter supervisors, and a contribution of $100,000 to the judgment trust fund. All of these are reasonable requests. In reality, these are extraordinary considering the state of fiscal duress being experienced by a majority of communities in Michigan and throughout the country. He understands that one of the City’s neighbors, Farmington Hills, is reducing personnel by attrition and will not replace five police officers this year. Many communities are considering tax increases. As a growing and desirable community, Novi is very fortunate, as the City can actually say "yes" to some requests. During budget discussions there have been motions to cut a very small percentage of the general fund, and motions to reallocate some spending; some passed, some did not. Council had a document from its Finance Director indicating that it has $146,729 available for reprogramming. There are some recalculated additional revenues and a better-than-expected worker’s compensation dividend, coupled with the elimination of the Planning Director position, and a few other cuts. There had been mention of City Council wanting to do more for its residents, and this is a noble goal.
Mayor Csordas said that as the ultimate risk manager of the community, he believes it is his responsibility to mention what Council may be doing to its residents. He has a file that contains many newspaper articles and legal memorandums regarding a potential Hooters lawsuit against the City. This potential legal action is tied to a recent Council decision to deny a liquor license transfer. A reasonable assumption is that legal action will occur. Win or lose, the taxpayers of Novi will have to spend money to address this action. The City has a $100,000 liability deductible, so it will have to spend up to that amount if and when insurance kicks in for this potential lawsuit. The City currently has a small amount of money in its judgment trust fund. The budget, as originally proposed, was reasonable. The budget as amended could work. Anyone who has ever developed a corporate or municipal budget will say that money can be moved during the fiscal year. He asked Council to take this practical and fiscally responsible action. He cannot support the recommendation of eliminating the Planning Director position with the City at less than 75% built-out. This is not logical, and the City Manager is on record as stating that he absolutely needs this position. By retaining the Planning Director position, the revised reprogrammable funds will be $88,894. He can support moving the entire $88,894 to the judgment trust fund. There should be no rush to spend this money, especially for non-essential, low-priority items. If or when the Hooters lawsuit comes, the City would have this money to spend for its defense. If the lawsuit does not come, he would gladly consider any recommendation from Council for the appropriation of the available reprogrammed money. This $89,894 could help repair some prematurely degrading roads in a subdivision in the City, which is clearly a matter of public safety. This Council cannot in good conscience assign money to personal pet projects. The point is, Council is accountable for its actions. It is his request that Council wait to see the outcome of the Hooters decision. There is no rush to spend this money, and it is the right thing to do for the taxpayers of Novi. He wished to read into the record a very important letter from the management staff of the City, and to paraphrase from the Planning Commission Chair. The letter from City staff was from the leadership group of about 15 or 16 department heads, dated May 6th:
We support the fiscal year 2004-2005 budget as recommended by the City Manager, which is balanced, provides more than adequate cash reserves, and adds four public safety personnel, two police and two fire. The budget balances multiple priorities across departments with existing funding and addresses City Council goals. We have concerns about the budget discussions, particularly those conducted last evening, which provide a marginal cost savings and inhibits the ability for us to collectively deliver results and carry out the mission of serving the community.
Mayor Csordas paraphrased from a May 14th letter that Council received from the Planning Commission Chair:
Planning in the City is moving at a blistering pace in Novi today. We have 25% of the City left to build, and there is much to be done. I think it is too soon to make a change in the way the City manages planning operations. In my opinion, the change would be disruptive and would probably slow down the process… The staff requires leadership, someone who can set priorities, manage resources (people), and keep all of the efforts running smoothly. I do not presume to understand all of the responsibility of the Planning Director job. I believe that the position is an important one, and I believe the City will suffer in our efforts to be responsive to the residents and developers of this community if this position is eliminated… Please reconsider the removal of this position.
Member Capello noted that his motion should be to amend the budget document, not to approve the budget.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-183 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Csordas
Nays: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
1. Presentation of Appreciation Plaque to Patricia Poirier for volunteer service on the Cable Access Committee.
Mayor Csordas noted that Ms. Patricia Poirier was not able to attend the meeting, but said the City would send an appreciation plaque to her for her volunteer service on the Cable Access Committee.
2. Recognition of Student Painters (Fuerst Farm Barn)
Mr. Klaver noted that the people accepting the plaque were not yet in attendance at the meeting.
Mayor Csordas commented that he would present the plaque later.
1. Public hearing for the request of Scott A. Riddle for Hummer of Novi for Concept Plan approval of a Special Development Option. The subject property is located in Section 24, north of Grand River Avenue and east of Meadowbrook Road in the GE (Gateway East) District. The subject property is approximately 6.72 acres. The applicant is proposing an automobile dealership.
Mr. Fisher said this matter was noticed for public hearing at 7:30 based upon the normal meeting schedule. His recommendation was to postpone this matter until 7:30.
Mayor Csordas said Council would postpone the public hearing until later in the meeting.
2. Proposed 2004-2005 Budget
Ms. Cornelius noted that the new public hearing notice was published in the newspaper stating that the public hearing would also begin at 7:30 for the budget.
Mayor Csordas wished to remind the community that the Memorial Day Parade is coming up. He had asked the Novi Goodfellows to place some boxes near City Hall and maybe somewhere along the parade route. If the residents of Novi might out of the kindness of their hearts bring a non-perishable food item to give to the Goodfellows, the entertainment from the parade will be well worth the "price."
2. CITY MANAGER - None
3. DEPARTMENTAL - None
Mr. Fisher wished to address Council in regards to the RUD provision of the City’s zoning ordinance. During the course of the past year or so, it has come to his attention from a number of sources that the City has an issue regarding the need for clarification of the RUD amendment. This is the source of some ambiguity with the Planning Commission, as well as the City Council and persons making applications under that ordinance provision. He understood that this would have to go to the Planning Commission for initial consideration, but Council will ultimately receive the issue to decide upon. He proposed to provide Council with a letter outlining some of the alternatives that may relate to this. The first may be attempting to shore up ambiguities in the ordinance; the second would be to clarify the Planning Commission’s authority regarding the site plan, in terms of the meaning and process for the initial conceptual plan for the RUD, and the relationship of that plan to subsequent site plan consideration and the like. He would like to outline those issues in a letter and receive Council’s direction on how to fix the situation, and to what extent and what manner.
Member Capello said that procedurally, he liked what Council worked through with the Gateway project. He liked the procedure of the project, in that it was definite of how quickly things moved along, and he liked the substantive fact that the amendment gives Council some discretion outside of just the four corners of the ordinance. For example, with the Hummer dealership item, somebody can bring something to Council that is very unique, and the amendment gives Council the ability of not being tied down by the zoning ordinance and it allows Council the ability to negotiate with the developer.
Mr. Fisher asked Member Capello if he was referring to Council’s broader scope of discretionary decision making.
Member Capello said this was correct.
Mr. Fisher said he could include this in the alternatives.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Member Paul asked to remove item F for discussion.
CM-04-05-184 Moved by Capello, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Consent Agenda as amended.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-184 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Paul, Csordas, Landry
CONSENT AGENDA: (Background information for Consent Agenda items is available for review at the City Clerk’s Office)
A. Approve minutes of:
April 24, 2004-Special meeting
B. Approval to purchase replacement furniture for Fire Station #2 and #3 from Global Office Solutions, low quotation, in the amount of $3,802.30.
C. Acceptance of water main, water main easements and Meadowbrook road right-of-way from Trane Corporation over parcels 50-22-14-200-011 and 50-22-14-200-012.
D. Authorize the Police Department to apply for and accept, if applicable, Target Corporation Law Enforcement Grant.
EApproval to award uniform cleaning contract for the Police and Fire Departments to Mai Kai Cleaners, the low bidder, based on unit pricing.
G. Acceptance of Amberlund Estates Streets and Utilities and adoption of Act 51 New Street Resolution for Amberlund Court.
H. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 673
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
CM-04-05-185 Moved by Landry, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To amend the agenda to move consideration of item #2 before item #1.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-185 Yeas: Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello
2. Approval of Water and Sewer rates Resolution for 2004-2005.
Mr. Helwig noted that Kathy Smith-Roy had received the other sanitary sewer system rate performa for the Walled Lake district, and this was at Council’s places. Administration did not have that information when the packet was assembled. The information had been provided so that Council could consider the water and sewer rates for the entire City that evening.
CM-04-05-186 Moved by Landry, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve of Water and Sewer Rates Resolution for 2004-2005.
Member Lorenzo asked if Council had the "before" and "after" information included in its information packets, or just the "after."
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that administration had included the "before" and "after" of the Oakland County rate.
Member Lorenzo said she was interested in how that rate affects the City. She said there was nothing to compare the rate to in whether it is increasing.
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that the rates are increasing. The increase on those rates is less than 2% for each category. The rates are rounded so that the quarterly rate is an even dollar amount, but each of those rates was increased 2%.
Member Lorenzo asked if the rate increase was 2% across the board.
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that this was correct, based upon the increase that was passed on to the City from Detroit Water and Sewer, excluding the one-time true-up charge of $114,000, which the City did not pass on to the consumers but is instead absorbing as it is a one-time charge.
Member Lorenzo said she appreciated this. The City has money in water and sewer, and she was glad that residents were not asked to pay extra for that particular true-up charge. She asked if any other costs were being passed on to residents other than the actual increase in water rates.
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that there is no other increase in the City’s rate.
Member Lorenzo asked if everybody would be paying the same maintenance that the City has also paid.
Ms. Smith-Roy said this was correct, as the maintenance and debt charge would remain the same.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-186 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello
2. Recognition of Student Painters (Fuerst Farm Barn)
Mayor Csordas showed a photograph of the Fuerst Farm Barn. About one month earlier, Eric Schluter called him and asked for permission to paint the barn if the City provided the needed paint, which was provided by Sherwin Williams. The barn is in need of repair, and the fresh coat of paint went a long way from the tremendous effort. There were approximately 30 people that painted the barn, from different parts of the state for Student Painters. Mayor Csordas presented Eric Schluter and Student Painters with a certificate of appreciation.
1. Public hearing for the request of Scott A. Riddle for Hummer of Novi for Concept Plan approval of a Special Development Option. The subject property is located in Section 24, north of Grand River Avenue and east of Meadowbrook Road in the GE (Gateway East) District. The subject property is approximately 6.72 acres. The applicant is proposing an automobile dealership.
Scott Riddle said that with him that evening was dealer/owner Gary Wood, legal counsel Matt Quinn, and project civil engineer Dan LeClaire from Alpine Engineering. He said they were excited to be before Council again that evening to capture the conceptual site plan approval from City Council. They were introducing some new images of the proposed facility to Council which are consistent with the drawings submitted to the Planning Department and address some of the comments made at the Planning Commission hearing the previous month. They have tried to refine the design to satisfy GM’s requirements. There is a new perspective of looking from the parking lot to the back entrance of the facility, which incorporates the Hummer "H". This is planned to be done in a luca-bond or a metal laminated panel type of system.
Mayor Csordas asked if the Planning Commission drove the concept plan to one of the renderings being shown to Council.
Mr. Riddle said there was a different version of the rendering, and the Planning Commission commented to embellish it with some additional architectural feel. The group has accomplished this by including some cityscape along the roofline, changing the heights, and other work.
Matthew Quinn said the concept approval being sought that evening was recommended unanimously by the Planning Commission. Council’s approval would allow the City Attorney to draft a Special Development Option contract under the Gateway East Ordinance that will incorporate the concept site plan, the previous submission of the boards showing the color of the block and materials, and the conceptual design and elevation of the building. It is anticipated, after talking to Mr. Fisher’s office, that when they come back for the preliminary site plan on June 21st, he will have the contract done also. The contract would be first approved by Council and the preliminary site plan would follow up on the agenda. The ordinance says that after Council grants preliminary site plan approval that the final site plan approval would be approved administratively unless Council wanted the item back for some reason. In order to maintain the construction schedule mentioned when the development agreement was entered into, they are still trying to finish the project and have it constructed by the end of the year. This is a very ambitious time schedule but complies with General Motors’ contractual obligations that his client is under.
Mayor Csordas said that this may be one of the first projects to come through under the Gateway East District. He asked if the matter would go back to the Planning Commission and then back to Council.
Mr. Quinn said the matter stays with Council, which is something that the ordinance requires. Council is the final approving body of the concept plan, and then the preliminary site plan approval comes back to Council after the normal reviews by City consultants and staff.
Mayor Csordas commented that the Planning Commission’s directions to "embellish the architecture" of the concept, this is a broad and sweeping statement. He inquired what Council was to do if it preferred the earlier concept.
Mr. Quinn replied that the concept drawing showed only one façade of the building, the intersectional façade. Previously, the building was to have a triangle entranceway. Upon looking at the Main Street facades it was determined to soften the entrance up instead of using sharp corners by giving it more of a rounded look. Council did not like an edge of the building before, saying that it was too industrial-looking. That edge is now more of a continuation of the building itself. The skyline is the same still as downtown Novi, as is the two-story elevation effect with square office windows. From the intersection, the building will look like an office. This is what was agreed upon in the development agreement, and the group is carrying that theme through. The design still picks up all of the pedestrian orientation agreed upon as part of the Gateway Ordinance. The landscaping and pods to show the vehicles are all nicely done and screened. They wished to show the inside elevation from the parking lot area, which is required by General Motors. A compromise with General Motors that shows the Hummer "H" back towards the industrial park serves the company’s purpose and protects what Council wants to do in keeping the corner looking like the Gateway District.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked Mr. Riddle if the rendering on the bottom was different yet from the rendering shown to the Planning Commission.
Mr. Riddle replied that this was correct.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said that in comparing the original rendering with the one shown by Mr. Quinn, he could see where the porch was taken out. It appeared in the original rendering that the central corner entrance was at a higher elevation. He asked if this was just the perspective of the artist.
Mr. Riddle replied that this was also correct.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if the height was always intended to be the same, and the change was just a perspective.
Mr. Riddle said the height of the building has not changed.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry noted that the Planning Commission had asked the group to "spruce the building up," which had now been done and this was what Mr. Quinn was holding. He asked if it was correct that the "great big ‘H’" would not be visible from Meadowbrook or Grand River Avenue.
Mr. Riddle said this was correct.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry noted that this "H" is a GM requirement. The concept pleases everybody: it pleases the City by keeping the sign not visible from Grand River, and pleases General Motors because this is part of the trademark that they require.
Member Nagy said she actually liked the first rendering that had been previously shown to Council. She asked if there would be fencing on the Grand River side of the building.
Mr. Quinn said there would be no such fencing.
Mr. Riddle said the same streetscape would be continued as in Gateway Village. The facility will have a brick wall on the Meadowbrook Road side, and this will go around the display pod and continue.
Member Paul said she liked both drawings being presented, but she particularly liked the second. The curved, angular porch is much softer, and she appreciated taking the industrial southeast corner off, as the newer design is more appealing. She likes the landscaping and all of the other features. She asked if the Hummer vehicles would actually be parked on the corner in front of the building on Grand River and Meadowbrook in the sidewalk area.
Mr. Quinn replied that this was correct. On the site plan there was a small pod shown, and this was one of the four allowable pods.
Member Paul noted that there was a pod on the east side of Meadowbrook where there were two vehicles, two vehicles on the corner of Meadowbrook and Grand River, and three vehicles on the northern side of Grand River on the east portion of the building by the parking lot.
Mr. Quinn said this was correct. The fourth vehicle is not on the street itself, but is rather within the property line on the entranceway.
Member Paul asked how many flags would be on display at the building. She saw only one on the artist’s rendering.
Mr. Quinn said flags would be displayed only as allowed by ordinance.
Member Paul asked how many flags would be shown in front of the building.
Mr. Quinn said he believed the dealership would be allowed a U.S. flag, a State flag, and the company’s own flag. He said that if the City would like a City flag displayed, this could be done, but there would be four flags displayed.
Member Paul asked if the continuous wall and landscaping on the south side of the site had been addressed by the new concept.
Mr. Riddle replied that along Grand River there is a three-foot-high wall that extends from the facility all the way past the curb cut into the site, and this extends all the way to the end of the property line.
Member Paul commented that one of the things that the City has been trying to do with the Gateway Ordinance was enhance the Grand River Avenue area. This proposal certainly accomplishes that goal. One thing that had been mentioned earlier by the Planning Commission was the possibility of Hummer being willing to install a sidewalk on the east and north of their site. There are wetlands and difficulties from that land, but this was something that the applicants had initially talked about that would be positive, as this is such a tight corner and the City is trying to allow people to move around safely.
Mr. Riddle said the applicants had researched and studied this possibility rather closely. What they determined in the end was that there is real liability issue for after-hours security of not only their inventory, but also for public access to the rear of their property through the wetland area. The matter came down to an issue of potential liability.
Member Paul said she understood this concern. She felt the applicants did a beautiful job with the architectural façade. She recalled earlier mentioning of standard sections of 904.d. She asked if all of the ordinances that were mentioned by Planning Commissioner Sprague had been addressed.
Mr. Riddle replied that his understanding was that the applicants had addressed each of the comments made by the Planning Commission.
Member Lorenzo commended everyone for a fine job with the proposal. The concept looked very attractive and she was very pleased with what she was seeing. She asked what was being discussed in development agreement exhibit B, whether the number of vehicle display areas referred to pods or display parking.
Mr. Riddle commented that Member Lorenzo’s definition of "pod" might be different than his own.
Member Lorenzo referred to areas in the concept rendering, where she saw areas with three cars on display, two in front of the building and two on the side along Meadowbrook Road.
Mr. Riddle replied that those would be referred to as "exterior display areas."
Member Lorenzo asked if the development agreement spoke to display parking.
Mr. Quinn quoted the development agreement: "The location of the three small vehicle display pods adjacent to the road’s right-of-way, as shown in (4)," referred to the three vehicles on the street. The area that is back in the parking lot was not covered by that language.
Member Lorenzo asked where that fourth display area was located, as she did not see it in the drawing.
Mr. Quinn replied that this was located off of the Meadowbrook driveway.
Member Lorenzo asked if the development agreement addressed the display parking. She noted that she did not have any concerns about the pods. She assumed that the display parking areas would display Hummer vehicles.
Mr. Quinn referred to the development agreement: (H) "Vehicles and vehicle spaces shall be permitted on the land for storage and/or display, employee parking, and for customer parking. The total number of vehicles for such purposes shall be determined at the discretion of the City Council as part of the site plan review."
Member Lorenzo asked if this would come at the concept time or when Council actually gets to the preliminary approval.
Mr. Quinn replied that this was now. By approving the concept plan and a limited number of parking spots, the applicants would be allowed to develop the site plan in accordance with that concept. The development agreement also said that the applicants should demonstrate to Council that their number of requested overall parking spaces is substantially less than other dealerships. There was some research by the City’s planning staff that showed the Hummer facility’s number of 249 was substantially less than other dealerships that had over 400 or over 600.
Member Lorenzo said her only concern was the display parking along Grand River. She noted that there was visitor parking behind the building, and she would rather see the display parking where the visitor parking will be, behind the building. She was concerned with a number of large vehicles being parked right along Grand River. There are no problems with the display areas, but she would be satisfied if those visitor and display parking areas could be switched.
Mr. Quinn said that as a landscaping point, part of the ordinance requires that the parking area be screened from Grand River and from Meadowbrook. The three vehicles in that display area are really the only three vehicles that will be viewed by anybody coming up and down Grand River. The balance of the parking, display or visitor, is really obstructed for travelers up Meadowbrook or Grand River.
Member Lorenzo said her concern was that she did not know this at this point. She did not see anything that was able to document this for her. She asked if there would be a topographical differential, or the applicants would be relying upon trees and shrubs to screen the Hummers that would be sitting in that display parking area.
Mr. LeClaire said the screening is actually a combination of the wall itself and the plantings in front of it.
Member Lorenzo asked how high that wall would stand.
Mr. LeClaire replied that this would be a three-foot high wall.
Member Lorenzo asked if the vehicles would appear above or below the wall.
Mr. LeClaire said the vehicles will probably be about the same elevation as the wall, but the vehicles out on Grand River will probably be a little bit lower. If a person were standing on the sidewalk in front of the wall, they would see the vehicles. However, if a person is traveling up and down Grand River in a passenger car, they would probably not see the vehicles.
Member Lorenzo asked if those people "probably" or "would not" see the display vehicles.
Mr. LeClaire said he would have to qualify his response, as the applicants have not completed the final engineering on the site.
Member Lorenzo said this was her only concern. If the site is truly screened she does not have a problem with it. However, if Hummer vehicles will be viewable as a person approaches the area, she would have a concern. This was about her only concern from the entire site plan.
Member Nagy said she actually liked both drawings, and likened the screening to that of the Jaguar dealership, where there are shrubs in front of the parking area, but a person can see the vehicles. Hummer had provided a nice conceptual drawing. Many older dealerships have only cars visible when a person drives by. She believed she was looking for the same thing sought by the previous speaker. She does not want to require large evergreen trees that will block all views of the cars. When people drive by a dealership they look at the displays. She just does not want the facility to look like the dealerships of old.
Member Paul asked if there would be any benches posted in front of the facility to invite people to sit there. This was something that was desired for the Gateway District.
Mr. Riddle replied that this was correct. At the corner of Meadowbrook and Grand River, their intent in the display area at what looks like the front of the building is to have benches available for pedestrians to sit down and relax.
Member Paul noted that the sidewalk would be difficult for the applicants. She asked if the applicants would consider posting a Novi symbol and sign on the corner. The Planning Commission had made this suggestion for important corners in the City.
Member Capello noted that he was in favor of Hummer. What had originally convinced him a long time ago to get other Council members to go along with the concept was that it did not matter what was there as long as the building on the corner was something special. He liked the first drawing much better, as it looked more like a small downtown-type of building. Even at the onset, Council discussed having the building look like it had separate entrances, and it could look like there would be several different tenants. He felt that the new drawing looked like an industrial building, the type that the City is trying to replace along Grand River. Something else that had been previously mentioned was to make sure that no cars except the display cars could be visible. It was not clear to him that display cars would not be viewable, particularly if there is ever walking traffic in that area. The applicants had indicated that where the three cars are located on Grand River in the display area there would be a wall there. However, behind the display cars to the thirty-two parking spots, it did not appear that there was a wall, and it seemed that the cars behind the display cars were visible.
Mr. Riddle replied that the dealership was looking to get access to that display area from the parking lot so that they can bring a vehicle up to that display, as opposed to running them along the sidewalk or along the greenbelt buffer between Grand River and the display area itself.
Member Capello said this made sense, but one could still see a whole slew of parked cars. When Council had originally discussed the matter, the applicants had promised that no cars would be seen except for the display Hummers. Council also had stated that it clearly did not want any used cars being displayed along the street. He believed that the agreement did not just limit the displays to pods, but how many display cars go in those pods. It appeared from a topographic map that the employee parking on Meadowbrook would only have a six-foot elevation, which did not seem enough to screen the entire parking lot from that road. He would like to see the building have more of a "downtown" look. The City tried to get the look it wanted on Main Street by requiring the use of different colored bricks and other features, but this still did not work. This was what Council was trying to avoid with this building by using awnings and maybe some indentations, but the new drawing did not show any indentations, only a flat building with the windows all the same.
Member Nagy said that while she liked both drawings, she liked the first drawing better. She agreed with Member Capello. The second drawing looked like a schoolhouse in her mind. The first drawing was more distinctive and more interesting to the eye. On the corner, even though there is OST zoning on that corner north of Grand River, the first drawing showed a much more interesting building. She noted that she was not sure what the Planning Commission meant by "more architectural variation," as she felt that the first drawing showed more such variation than the second. The more she thought about it, the more the second drawing looked like a schoolhouse, she said.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said the architecture is brick, is not industrial, has more of a downtown feel, and has coinage work around the windows. The drawings viewed by Council were only artists’ renderings. He questioned how much more the City should be regulating the building’s architecture. The applicants have created two renderings that are similar but different and layout the texture and materials that will be used. Both buildings are nice-looking, non-industrial, and certainly non-traditional automobile dealership buildings. He felt that the applicants had accomplished what the City had asked, and he felt that either of the building designs would look very nice.
Member Gatt commented that he preferred drawing number one, as it was more pleasing to the eye. He asked if any of the drawings had been showed to the Novi Police Department through their crime prevention/environmental design unit.
Mr. Riddle replied that this had not been done.
Member Gatt commented that this is a service offered by the Police Department that most companies do not take advantage of. There are specially-trained officers in the Department that could take a look at the design and make some recommendations for security purposes.
Member Paul said the difference between the first and second drawings was that the first had a center portion jutted out higher so the cement cap on top runs into the brick, creating not just one single line. Also, on the east side of Meadowbrook on the north side of this site, there are several different elevations of the brick again with the cement cap being altered into the brick. This also creates a different color variation. She felt that combining the circular front portico with the façade in the first drawing would create a win for everybody.
Mayor Csordas felt that both drawings looked great, so whatever would come back to Council would be fine with him.
Mayor Csordas opened the hearing for public comment.
There being no public comment, Mayor Csordas closed the hearing.
2. Proposed 2004-2005 Budget
David Ruyle, 40474 Mill Rd. Ct. E., commended Council for reinstating the position of Planning Director. Whether this position is filled by Mr. Evancoe or someone else, the City needs a Planning Director. Novi is 3/4ths built out and has ¼ to go, and the community needs direction. He has worked with Mr. Evancoe for the past 2 ½ years and finds him to be a man of integrity and a man of his word. He said that Mr. Evancoe gives good direction to the Planning Department. He thanked Council for making the motion to reinstate the Planning Director position.
Member Gatt noted that Mr. Ruyle is a member of the City’s Planning Commission and has been very sick. He said it was good to see Mr. Ruyle back and feeling better.
Kathy Mutch said that about three months ago, she had addressed Council during her interview for reappointment to the Historical Commission. She had used that time to recount what the Historical Commission had done as a group in the past year. Council had made some nice comments, and she had expected that the Commission would continue to do those things. She was in attendance to address a decision made during Council’s budget discussions. She read a letter in to the record:
Mayor Csordas and Members of Council:
The Novi Historical Commission is a group of Novi residents who volunteer their time, talents, and often their money to carry out its many and varied responsibilities as enumerated in the Novi Code of Ordinances.
The Novi Historical Commission is an official City of Novi commission with responsibilities for stewardship of certain City historical assets, most notably the historic Township Hall. Perhaps less known are the items that have been dedicated to the City for the purpose of illustrating, illuminating, and promoting the history and heritage of the Novi community. The members of the Commission take these responsibilities seriously and consider their work and important contribution to the quality of life of this community.
The Novi Historical Commission is not the local historical society; nor is it a historic preservation group or a service club. It is not an independently-funded organization or professional association. It is a City-authorized and funded City Council appointed body that has no staff and a limited budget. The Commission’s resources are limited but are leveraged many years in many ways to achieve its goals as developed annually in accordance with the ordinance that governs it.
All of you at one time or another have attended or participated in an event sponsored, organized, or promoted by the Historical Commission.
The Commission has been responsive to the changing needs of the community and the changing goals of the City Council itself. The Commission manages to meet its obligations within the limited resources available to the Commission. There have been increasing numbers in attendance and participation at the Historical Commission’s events.
As part of the 2004-2005 budget process, the Historical Commission submitted a request for $15,500, an amount that represents an increase of less than 2% over last year’s approved request. Since there is no staff person whose job it is to advocate on behalf of the Commission or its requests, there was no response during the budget meeting in which Council decided to slash the Historical Commission request by 77%.
I am here as Chair of the Commission to respectfully request that this decision be reconsidered. The cost of having the Township Hall sit vacant for all of next year, the next 12 months, with no programs and no events is estimated to be about $3500. That amount includes the minimum cost of utilities and grounds maintenance that is required under the lease agreement with the Novi Public Library. That amount leaves $500 for anything and everything that the Historical Commission would do in the 2004-2005 fiscal year.
It may be an unintended consequence of Council budget cutting, but if this reduction stands, it would leave the Commission unable to continue with the annual Fuerst Farm Family Day, an event that saw attendance increase over 300% from 2002 to 2003. This would mean that the children’s publication that Commission members have spent more than a year developing would not be published for use by Novi school children. In fact, this cut would leave the Commission with no real reason to meet for the next year.
If Council is not able to fund the request as submitted by the Historical Commission, I am here to ask that you consider all of the resources available to you, and ask that you fund at least the amount needed to support the Fuerst Farm Family Day. It is an event that has taken more than five years to establish as the successful family event that it has become, an event that celebrates Novi and the heritage of the area.
In addition, under the Code of Ordinances, it is permissible for the Historical Commission to accept donations, including funding, but only with the specific authorization and approval of the City Council. The Historical Commission asks that you consider granting that authorization.
We look forward to any solutions that you might have to offer, but ask that we be included in the discussions that may lead to changes in the ways that the Historical Commission is funded.
Member Capello asked how much funding was needed for the Fuerst Farm Family Day.
Ms. Mutch replied that the amount spent last year was anticipated to expand this year because of increasing attendance. The amount requested for this coming year was $3000.
Member Capello asked if this was on top of the $3500.
Ms. Mutch said that by virtue of Council’s budget discussions, the Historical Commission was budgeted $4000 for the year. $3500 represents the cost of one maintenance/utility cost.
Member Capello asked if another $2500 was needed to do the Fuerst Farm Family Day event.
Ms. Mutch said this would fund the Fuerst Farm event but nothing else.
Wayne Hogan wished to speak regarding the budget and reprogramming some of the money that might be available. He recalled coming to a meeting during 2003 where the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department was getting zero dollars to handle some additional projects that the department needed to do. He recalled attending a meeting the previous week where the same thing happened with some necessary capital improvements, some of them regarding safety and consumers that want to use the beach area at Lakeshore Park. The Department has a list of priorities that are already set. He asked that money being transferred to the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department be for those set priorities and capital improvement projects. Lakeshore Park looks bad and could use the additional work.
Dave Staudt, 23715 Nilan Drive, noted that he is a Novi Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Commissioner. He noted that the Commission had submitted a letter to Council on the previous Friday, which restated that the Commission would like to prioritize whatever funding Council can provide. He asked Council to please maximize that funding.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I (Continued)
1. Adoption of Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2004-05.
CM-04-05-187 Moved by Capello, seconded by Landry; MOTION FAILED (Five Votes Required): To adopt the budget as amended for the fiscal year 2004-2005.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-187 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt
Nays: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
CM-04-05-188 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; MOTION FAILED: To amend the 2004-2005 budget: to advertise for legal services on July 1, 2004, and confirm that Secrest Wardle will be retained until January 1, 2005 under their current contract; keep $175,000, which is six months of $350,000, in the Attorney line item; wage adjustments for administrative employees shall be 2.5%; to provide the 10% funding match required for the City firefighter’s grant at approximately $20,000 if the City is awarded this grant; to provide $111,700 to the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department to use as that department sees fit; and to eliminate the Planning Director position as of January 1, 2005.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if the motion was for $71,700 plus $40,000.
Member Paul replied that this was correct. Council had $146,900, so it would take the $71,700 that was recommended by the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Director for the Community Sports Park well, the new pumping mechanism, and the four baseball fields. The remainder of that sum, the $40,000, would go to the ADA requirements. There would be some balance there, so there may be some more money.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said he could not support the motion. As the budget stood, there was not $146,000 because the Planning Director position had been reinstated, meaning that there was only $88,894 available. Council had discussed irrigating Community Sports Park before. When this originally came up at the first Saturday budget meeting, the matter was talked about within the confines of priorities. The point was made at that time that of the City’s goals, the number one goal was parks and recreation. When Council then looked at the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry priorities, Community Sports Park was not at the top of the list. If Council is going to follow priorities with Community Sports Park, it needs to go with the set priorities. Council heard from Mr. Auler the previous week that Community Sports Park is priority number five or six. He did not see how Council could leapfrog priority six to priority one. If Council was to follow the proper process, it should go by Parks, Recreation, and Forestry’s priorities. The Department had met with the Commission, and ADA was determined as the number one priority. It would be nice to fund the irrigation work, but Council does not have the money to do it, and it is only priority number five or six. It was not the position of Council to dictate to the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Commission or Department what their priorities are. The budget, as it currently stood, threw an additional $28,000 to the Department over and above what it already had. This was certainly money that the Department needs and would like. He did not feel that Council should put more money there, and did not feel it was Council’s job to jump priorities, especially over the ADA compliance.
Member Paul noted that Parks, Recreation, and Forestry had a list of 12 items that came to Council and her understanding from the Commission letter that Mr. Staudt had referred to was that all 12 items were a priority. She asked if there was any one priority rated over the other by the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Commission, or if the Commission was just looking for funds for all of the items because the City is so behind.
Mr. Auler said that at the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Commission meeting on May 13th, the Commission revisited its priorities. The Commission elected to send the letter to Council that indicated, he believed, that all of the listed priorities have a severe need for servicing the community, and are extremely important. If Council had funds available for any of those needs, the Commission would support any funding for any of those projects.
Mr. Staudt said that at the Commission’s May 13th meeting, Commissioner Kopeika had made a very good comment, that if the issues are decided at the Council level, that the Commission is really defeated. The Commission would like to debate the matter further if it knew that the funds were available. The Commission did not debate the merits of the irrigation work at that May 13th meeting. All that it stated was that the priorities have been set and were part of the community plan and were approved by Council. If the opportunity to discuss the irrigation came to the Commission, they would have a debate on the matter and would vote to make a recommendation. They would like the opportunity to debate how to use the $71,700 on its merits, then make the recommendation to Council.
Member Paul said Council had not formally reinstated the Planning Director by five votes. She wanted to make it clear that Council’s goal is to complete parks, and this was what she was asking for. She allocates money to where the goals are set. It would be fine with her for the Commission to debate how to maximize the use of the money, and she would be glad to give them a sum to use. The number one goal is for parks and recreation. Council had previously said that it would add two sergeants and a police officer; that matter was completely revisited, and there were now three sergeants and a police officer. She could not support this addition. She wanted to allocate some money across the board to the number one goal. The remainder of funds that Council had found should go towards parks and recreation, however that Commission wants to use the money. This could mean $50,000 for ADA compliance, another $40,000 for irrigation, and $10,000 at Power Park, this did not matter. The Commission can decide this, but the money needs to go to Council’s number one priority, which was established before she was ever elected to Council.
Mayor Csordas asked if the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Commission’s May 13th meeting was a special meeting or a regularly scheduled meeting.
Mr. Auler replied that this was a regularly scheduled meeting for May.
Member Capello said that from what he had heard from Parks, Recreation, and Forestry just that evening, they would rather have Council give them the money and make a recommendation to Council as to how to spend the funds. The motion that he had made found another $28,000 to give to Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, and told them to use the money as they saw fit. All that he thought was being asked for a few weeks earlier was $55,000 for the irrigation. He thought that with his amendment, he could throw $28,000 towards parks and recreation, which is coming up with half of the extra money that they were looking for, and he thought it might have been a compromise. He said he could not support the current motion. Parks, Recreation, and Forestry had even told Council that this was not exactly how it wanted to spend the money.
Member Nagy asked to make a final amendment to the motion that the funds of $71,700 and $40,000, which is a total of $111,700, be allocated to the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department as it sees fit to use.
Member Paul said this would be fine.
Member Lorenzo asked if the motion amended the budget that eliminated the Planning Director position.
Member Paul said that at this point, five votes were needed to reinstate the Planning Director position.
Member Lorenzo said that Member Paul would have to state in the motion that she wanted to eliminate that position.
Member Paul noted that she wished to add to the motion that the Planning Director position would be eliminated in six months, as of January 1, 2005.
Member Nagy wished to restate her original statement. She would very much like to accommodate the needs of administration as well as the needs of taxpayers. The motion accomplishes both, is fair, and is equitable. The motion is a compromise on some matters. She said she was looking for compromise so that Council could pass the budget.
Mayor Csordas stated that he would continue all evening to support the City Manager’s statement that he cannot function without a Director of Planning, and he would continue to support the recommendation of the Chair of the Planning Commission, as well as the wishes of the City’s department heads, to maintain the Planning Director.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-188 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Lorenzo
Nays: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt
CM-04-05-189 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; MOTION FAILED: To amend the 2004-2005 budget to advertise for legal services on July 1, 2004, confirming that Secrest Wardle will be retained until January 1, 2005 under their current contract, keeping $175,000 with six months of $350,000 in the Attorney line item; the cost of a wage adjustment for administrative employees shall be 2.75%; a 10% City match required for the firefighter’s grant at approximately $20,000 will be funded if the City is awarded the grant; to allocate $111,700 for Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, to advise on priorities; to continue the removal of the Planning Director position.
Member Capello noted that part of Member Paul’s motion pertained to when legal services goes out for bids. Council had voted on that matter at the last meeting, there was a vote taken, and Council made a decision. There had been no motion made for the reconsideration of that issue. Council could not vote on that subject that evening.
Member Paul said that when Council discussed other line items in the budget such as sergeants, the motion was voted down for the third sergeant. This process was similar. To her, the Planning Director was also not allocated as of January 1. This was all in the line item budget, and this was part of that document. She did not agree with Member Capello, and said she was looking to Ms. Cornelius for some guidance.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said he would not support a budget that changes what Council had ruled on in sending out for bids for legal services. He said he would never support a budget that says that, he would never support a budget that removes the Planning Director, and he would not support a budget that gives $111,700 to Parks, Recreation, and Forestry.
Member Capello commented that he agreed with Mayor Pro Tem Landry.
Member Gatt said he also agreed with the previous speakers.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-189 Yeas: Paul, Lorenzo, Nagy
Nays: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt
Mayor Csordas suggested going back to his original statement: to reinstate the Planning Director and place the balance of the available $88,746 into escrow to see what happens with the lawsuit. During the budget year Council can use those funds whenever it wants to and wherever they are needed.
CM-04-05-190 Moved by Landry, seconded by Capello; MOTION FAILED (5 Votes Required): To approve the budget as originally presented by the City Manager, reinstating the Planning Director position and placing the balance of the available $88,746 into the judgment trust fund with the understanding that Council can reprogram those funds at a later date. One full-time police dispatcher position shall be eliminated, with the $67,700 for that position being placed into the general fund.
Member Nagy said she would not support the motion. Under Mayor and Council Issues there was a reconsideration of the Hooters item. She recalled that the vote regarding the bid process for the City Attorney was a 4-3 vote to send out for bids in November. It was also a 4-3 vote to only fund the Planning Director position until January 1, 2005. The request of the Police Chief was for two sergeants, and Council added a patrol officer, which had passed. She questioned how Council had come to its current position, and felt that it needed to compromise.
Member Capello asked to make a friendly amendment to the motion on the table. He felt that Council agreed that the City could work with 15 full-time police dispatchers and one float position. He suggested taking that extra $67,700 and putting that into the general fund. He questioned why Council should fund that position if the City can work without it.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said he would accept the friendly amendment.
Mr. Helwig said the first motion during that evening’s work session, which was approved 4-3, contained changes that included reducing the number of authorized dispatchers from 16 to 15. That $62,000 for a full year is necessary to fund the other items in that motion. He wanted to clarify that the money could not be reprogrammed then for another purpose, as it had already been programmed as part of that prior motion.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said that, as the maker of the motion, his understanding of what was being proposed was the budget as originally presented by City administration with the additions of the two sergeants and one patrolman. The only changes to this would be to take $88,894 and put it in the judgment trust fund, and the Police Department would go to 15 dispatchers instead of 16 with this money being placed in the general fund. The Planning Director position would remain, and the extra sergeant was not included in his motion.
Mr. Helwig asked if the first motion that was adopted was thus disregarded, and Mayor Pro Tem Landry was replacing it with this present motion.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said this was correct.
Member Capello said that Mr. Helwig had raised a good point. Council had approved an amendment and now needed to do something with the existing motion on the table. Technically all Council was doing was removing the upgrading-sergeant position and taking an extra $28,000 and allocating it to Parks, Recreation, and Forestry.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry agreed that Member Capello had identified the present motion.
Ms. Cornelius noted that the original motion was voted upon 4-3 to reinstate the Planning Director position, and so that was not necessary as part of the amendment on the table.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said the net effect of the amendment would be the original budget as presented by administration with the addition of the one police officer. The extra money that Council had found, $88,894, would be placed into the judgment trust fund. The extra money from going to 15 dispatchers would be parked for the time being in the general fund.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-190 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt
Nays: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
CM-04-05-191 Moved by Paul, seconded by ; MOTION FAILED: To amend the budget to advertise for legal services as of July 1, 2004; confirming that Secrest Wardle will be retained until January 1, 2005 under their current contract; keeping $175,000, or six months of $350,000, in the Attorney line item, the remainder to be placed in the general fund balance; the cost of the wage adjustment for administrative employees shall be 3.0%; to fund the City match required for the firefighter’s grant at approximately $20,000 if necessary; to place $100,000 for Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, with Council to be advised on their priorities; and to reinstate the position of the Planning Director.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked Member Paul where the funding came from for her motion.
Member Paul said that Council had taken money out from the 3.25% administrative wage adjustment as it would stay at 2.75% with the motion, creating $38,000. Council would only place $175,000 for legal fees. She asked Ms. Smith-Roy how much money the reinstatement of the Planning Director would require.
Ms. Smith-Roy noted that it was not clear if the prior motion had been an amendment to the budget or a vote on the budget resolution.
Member Paul said she understood that Council was voting on a budget resolution.
Ms. Smith-Roy noted that the Planning Director position was still included in the budget so it did not need to be added with the amendment.
Mayor Csordas noted that the present budget still contained a 3.25% administrative employee salary adjustment.
Member Paul commented that this would approximately "wash" the firefighter grant.
Mayor Csordas referred to the firefighter’s grant mentioned by Member Paul, and asked if this was for $20,000. He noted that there was no 100% assurance that the grant would be approved, and asked if the $20,000 for that grant was contingent upon approval of the grant.
Member Paul said this was correct.
Mr. Helwig said that Council had authorized applying for this grant after administration had submitted the recommended budget, so it was presumed that this money would come from the rainy day fund balance if the City got the grant, unless Council covered that money as it was discussing that evening.
Ms. Smith-Roy said that as it stood with the amendment that had passed that evening, there was $28,000 available for programming.
Member Paul asked if that $28,000 could either go to the firefighters, or $28,000 could go to Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, or the money could be divided between the Fire Department and Parks, Recreation, and Forestry.
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that this was correct.
Member Paul said she would then have to amend the budget, and that she was not looking for a resolution of the budget. Her motion was to reinstate the Planning Director, go out for legal services, and reduce administrative wage increases from 3.25% down to 2.75%. Council has to come up with the $20,000 sooner or later, so this has to stay in the motion. She questioned what would be left for Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, which is Council’s number one goal.
Ms. Smith-Roy said that the $28,000 was what remained.
Member Capello said this was in addition to the three-quarters of a million dollars that Council was already allocating for Parks, Recreation, and Forestry.
Member Paul referred to the three police cars that cost $29,750 each, on which the City had saved $3,800 per vehicle.
Ms. Smith-Roy said she had given Council a sample of only one vehicle, of what the City actually did the replacements on. The cost can be less or it can be more. Administration can lower the cost slightly, but she did not advise doing this because she does not know what the costs of inflation are. The vehicle that Police Department ended up using did not have to have replacement parts, as the Department was able to use everything. However, this is not always the case. The number included in the budget seemed to be a good number.
Member Paul commented that she was very frustrated. She felt like she had compromised on what the administration wanted with regards to its salaries. Initially Member Lorenzo had requested a 2% increase, but she was up to 2.75%. She felt that Council’s policy for legal services required the City go out to bid as of June 1st. Extending this date to September gives three months and would not be a big compromise to ask for. $28,000 is not much money for Parks, Recreation, and Forestry. She said that Mr. Helwig had three administrative positions to work with – himself, a COO, and a second-in-command, which is unusual for a city. She was asking for money to go to other places. Council had discussed removing the Planning Director. She asked if Mr. Helwig wanted to consider eliminating another position instead.
Mr. Helwig said that when he arrived at the City of Novi there were two assistant city managers. He re-titled one to Chief Operating Officer; the other has assumed more responsibilities than the Assistant City Manager that he replaced, who had focused solely on economic development. This enabled administration to eliminate the Director of Public Services position. He feels that he has already streamlined that part of the organization to be able to accomplish what Council desires. It is not unusual for city of Novi’s size or a growing city to have two assistant city managers – this is not unusual at all. He went through the recessions of the early 80’s and early 90’s. When Council felt that it wanted to abolish a position, they said that as part of the budget resolution they wanted him to streamline administration by one position, but did not tell him what position to streamline. He does not support eliminating the positions that had been suggested to remove. Those have been key to the City’s progress to date. If Council feels strongly about streamlining the organization and another administrative position, he asked Council to state it that way, but not to tell him what position to eliminate. This would allow the City to formulate in a team environment with staff. Personally, he does feel that this is needed in terms of what was trying to be accomplished. Only two items had been programmed so far.
Mayor Csordas asked how much money was allocated to Parks, Recreation, and Forestry in this budget.
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that the grand total for all of Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, was $3.899 million. This included debt service on parkland.
Mayor Csordas invited Mr. Helwig to comment.
Mr. Helwig said his recommendation would be to fund the third sergeant from the forfeiture funds. This goes against everything that he has ever practiced previously, but he has never seen the amount of money that the City has laid claim to by this stake. This is not 100% certain, but Chief Shaeffer has said that the City will get the money, and will get it before January 1st. Council could fund that sergeant position for one year with the forfeiture money if it was Council’s will. As an administrator this is what he would do, as it is like going after a grant to fund that position.
Member Gatt noted that the City has a forfeiture account right now, and asked how much money the City has in that account right now.
Ms. Smith-Roy said she would research this information.
Mayor Csordas recalled Chief Shaeffer saying not to give him a sergeant for one year and then take the position away.
Mr. Helwig replied that he understood this. He said he was going on a strong sense from Council that it wanted to authorize the third sergeant. He noted that he had not recommended this third sergeant position to Council, nor did he recommend the additional police officer. On March 31st, if the City had the additional money that it now had, he would have recommended bringing on the new supervisors sooner, since the City needs those so soon. If Council wanted to fund the third sergeant, he advised approving it on or about January 1st, conditioned upon receipt of additional forfeiture funds. There is some risk from this, but the City has gone after cops’ grants in the past to help it get additional police officers. Council would indicate this as priority for future years, as the City does not want to promote someone and then demote them one year later.
Mr. Helwig stated that if Council feels it is justifiable to streamline the administrative organization and its 51 or 52 positions by one position, though he did not feel it was justified, he asked for Council to state this and give administration until January 1 to identify that position. This position may not be as valuable as the administrative-level positions that Council had discussed, but the spirit of streamlining administrative staff by one position could be part of the motion, and Ms. Smith-Roy could provide a figure of approximately how much that would mean for the budget.
Mr. Helwig noted that there is a great deal of money going to Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, but there was general consensus that the services are not nearly what the community expects, or what it wants in the long-term future. The money being mentioned was "token dollars." When Council votes on something it wants to make a difference. Other Council members had mentioned that they hoped for a fiscal analysis to be done by the summer, which would provide answers to some comments made by Member Nagy that evening, which he had raised as part of his budget presentation. There remains in this City an available authorized general fund millage of 0.3837 mills, almost four-tenths of a mill. Each tenth of a mill is worth $286,000. The millage could not be levied until one year from now. The Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Commission is here for the long haul and wants dollars that will make a difference, not the token dollars that Council had talked about. He suggested that Council make a decision during the summer before it goes into goals setting of whether or not it wants to tap some of those funds. He recommended doing this. This is the first budget message in four that he has gone out of his way to state the value of each tenth of a mill. Administration does not get any credit for having the fifth-lowest municipal property tax rate in Oakland County. What it does get is a lot of desire for higher levels of services. He was not speaking only about Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, but also about Fire, Police, and wherever Council wants to go with its choices. He advised seriously considering looking longer-term, rather than that evening with the budget, at how Council will meet the stated needs on an ongoing basis.
Member Paul thanked Mr. Helwig for his comments. She agreed that the forfeiture funds should go towards a lot of police activities. She felt that Council should use the forfeiture funds to support the police officer and possibly a sergeant whenever it receives the money. This would free up $40,000 that could go towards completing the City’s parks. The goal she understood for City Council was to complete the City’s parks. She asked what money in the budget was going towards this completion.
Ms. Smith-Roy said there was no money dedicated towards park completion.
Member Paul said Council could take the $40,000 that it had earlier allocated for the police officer and use the forfeiture funds to support the police officer in January, as well as the sergeant. Council could also keep the two sergeants that Chief Shaeffer and administration had asked for. That would allow for a little bit of money to go towards whatever the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Commission would like to do with the $40,000. If Council keeps the Planning Director in place it would keep many people in the City happy and it would advance the two sergeants to possibly go to 12-hour shifts if the union chooses so. She would like to keep the wages at 3% instead of 3.25%, which would give Council approximately $12,000, and this could also be put towards completing the City’s parks. Council would advertise for legal services as of September 1, and would confirm that Secrest Wardle would be retained until January 1, 2005 under their current contract. $175,000, a six-month amount of $350,000, would be kept in the Attorney line item.
Mayor Csordas referred to the proposed budget amount of $175,000 for legal services, and questioned how legal services would be funded after that six-month period.
Mr. Helwig said the City would need a mid-year appropriation, and would certainly need an appropriation before anyone would come to work for it.
Mayor Csordas said he could not support this amendment.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said what he was now hearing was that instead of funding the extra police officer, the money would be given to Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, and the City would pay for the extra police officer out of forfeiture funds. This would not be guaranteed for next year, because the forfeiture funds could only be used for the position for one year. He said he could not support this proposal because Council would be putting Parks, Recreation, and Forestry as a higher priority than the Police Department, which he could not do.
Member Nagy noted that the City is paying extra this year for salaries because of the extra pay period, which is approximately $600,000.
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that this was correct.
Member Nagy noted that next year, the City will not be paying this extra $600,000.
Ms. Smith-Roy said this was also correct.
Member Nagy asked if this $600,000 would become available for use in the budget again next year.
Ms. Smith-Roy said that in guessing the condition of the State’s economy, and assuming the City’s continuing growth, it could be assumed that this one less pay period next year would allow the City additional flexible dollars that it does not have this year. However, she wanted to qualify that the four positions in the budget are only mid-year. A full year is considerably more than six months.
Member Nagy remarked that there had been requests made by administration, and one of those was made by Chief Shaeffer, who had asked for two sergeants. At the present time Council could fund two sergeants. Council, in its zeal for public safety, found $40,000 for a police officer, which she was very much in favor of. At this point she said she had to think a bit differently. Chief Shaeffer asked for two sergeants, which is doable. Next year the City will have bit more funds which will allow continuation of the police officer position. There is a set Council policy regarding the City’s going out for bid for legal services. The Friday headline for the Detroit News was that cities are cutting back in fire departments, police, and libraries. Council was considering adding to both the Police Department and the Fire Department to try and ensure the public’s safety. While the City’s legal counsel has not had a raise in three years, times are tough right now. Attorneys working for corporations and workman’s compensation used to collect billable hours, but now only receive a flat fee for each case. She was not suggesting that the City’s attorneys should take a flat fee for each case, but the market is very competitive right now. There are many law firms that have gone out of business for this reason alone. She would like to go out to bid for legal services in September. It will take three months for the City to receive those bids back. Going out to bid is not any kind of indictment of Secrest Wardle. Because the economy is tough, the bid process would only help the City.
Member Nagy said that Council had also funded $350,000 for a year of legal services. The City has spent much more than that in past years. She would like to see the matter sent out to bid in order to negotiate the best deal possible for the City. Under the current economic stress this only makes sense. She does not want to fund the third sergeant from the forfeiture funds because, as Mr. Helwig had pointed out, Council does not have the money for that position and the police officer in the future. In terms of streamlining the City organization, she would like to set aside funds at some point to have an independent organization audit performed for the City of Novi. This would provide a totally independent and legitimate study of the City’s performance. She would like to continue with investment in Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, which was a goal of the last Council. She agreed with Member Paul that the current Council should have set goals before debating the budget. If parks and recreation activities and facilities are a goal of Council then while she wants to accommodate administration, she wants to accommodate the taxpayer as well. Taking away the patrol officer would mean an additional $40,000, which with the available $28,000 totals $68,000, which could be given to Parks, Recreation, and Forestry. Though it may seem that the Department spends a lot of money because of the $3.9 million allotment, but that includes a great deal of expenses other than just the obvious ones.
Mayor Csordas noted that he had a file with Mr. Fisher’s memorandums, newspaper clippings, and other documents. He asked Mr. Fisher what he felt Hooters’ strategy would be, and what the City can expect to spend on a potential lawsuit involving that company.
Mr. Fisher replied that if there was a potential lawsuit, it would be his expectation that the City get an assignment of a lawyer from the City’s insurance provider. It is the City’s obligation to pay up to $100,000. If the case did go to trial, it may take up to $50,000 or more. The question then is what, if any, damages might be awarded in the matter over and above the cost of legal counsel. He was not saying that damages would be awarded; he was saying that Council should reserve for that potential risk. The risk would relate to lost profits and any other increase in cost that they would be able to calculate. In some cases it is very difficult to prove lost profits. In this particular instance, because of the nature of this business and the number of businesses it has, Hooters could probably make a fairly significant case for lost profits based upon their records. What those lost profits might be would be totally speculative.
Mayor Csordas agreed that this was a potential situation, although it was a good assumption that the lawsuit would happen. He felt that every available dollar should be put into the judgment trust fund and that Council can reallocate money at a later time because of what Council has potentially done to the residents of the City.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry commented that everybody at the Council table agreed that we are in difficult financial times. Everybody recognizes that State shared revenue is down. Everybody recognizes that other cities are having difficulty just maintaining their services. Given those difficult economic times, he questioned if Council was prepared to say it would not add police in the City because it wants to give more money to Parks, Recreation, and Forestry. That idea does not make sense, and it is not his number one goal. Parks, Recreation, and Forestry receive $3.89 million. The entire City budget is $24 million.
Ms. Smith-Roy said the whole amount of City expenditures is actually $55 million. This includes special revenue funds and other items.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry reiterated that Council was allocating $3.8 million to Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, and said nobody could claim it is unfair to that department. He asked if Council was now going to say, with lawsuits coming against the City, with all of the pending developments, development agreements, and all the requests that no other city has, that the City will not fund its City Attorney past half of the year so that Council can give more money to Parks, Recreation, and Forestry. Nobody wants to deny parks and recreation, and nobody will say they are against the department, as there is no question about that. He does not feel that the City should build up its Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department at the cost of police or legal services, as it just does not make fiscal sense to do this. On the table was the budget that had been allocated to Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, and an additional $28,000. If that was not compromise, he questioned what Council could be looking for. He did not see the logic in tinkering with the Police Department and tinkering with the City Attorney just so Council could add more to Parks, Recreation, and Forestry.
Member Lorenzo clarified that Member Paul had not said she would take the other $175,000 for legal services and put that money towards the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department. Member Paul had said she would place this money in the fund balance so that when Council does elect a firm, there would be money to allocate towards whatever agreement it has at that time.
Member Paul remarked that Council currently had two sergeants in place in the budget for six months, but said their services would not just be continued for six months from their date of hire. She asked how much money was in the Police Department’s budget. She also asked for the Fire Department’s budget. She said she wanted to point out that there were zero dollars going towards completing parks, the previous City Council’s number one goal. Council had two sergeants already in place with the budget; she was asking for forfeiture funds to fund the $40,000 for the additional police officer, and use the original $40,000 for that position and place those towards Parks, Recreation, and Forestry.
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that the special millage covers both the Police and Fire Departments. The combined budget for both departments is $13.6 million.
Member Paul commented that a very sizeable part of the City’s budget goes towards fire and safety, which she was in complete support of. She was in support of the two sergeants that were allocated by the City’s chief administrator and the Chief of Police. Council was also allocating two more firefighters that are also administrative positions for the Fire Department. Thus, Council would be adding four people for Fire and Police. Instead of going out to bid on legal services on June 1, she had suggested September 1. This money could be placed back into the fund balance. She was also looking for a small stipend of money to go towards completion of parks. She was not saying that she did not want the police officer, but she would like six months’ worth of that position to be paid with forfeiture funds.
Mayor Csordas said he did not understand why Council would not place $175,000 in the Attorney line item. Even if the City goes to bid, this would just be an accounting function, Council would have to spend the money anyways. He did not feel that firms would want to submit proposals for only $175,000 and six months.
Member Paul said it would be only be six months that Council allocate at that time frame. Council could look at whatever the new contract is and allocate that money at that time, as nobody knows if the cost will be another $175,000; this could be $200,000 or it could be $150,000. She wants to have that money summed up for January. It makes good sense to go out to bid.
Mayor Csordas said the question was not with going out to bid, but rather with the money. With all budgets that he has worked on in private enterprise, the attorney line item must be left alone because it will be spent. He respectfully did not understand why Council would change this line item, which was an accounting function that must absolutely be placed back in.
Member Paul replied that this was absolutely correct. When the City gets its legal services contract renewed, it would have the money allocated in that direction. The Planning Director position was included as part of this motion.
Ms. Cornelius noted that the difference between the 3% and 3.25% wage increase for administrative employees would be given to Parks, Recreation, and Forestry as well.
Member Paul noted that the $40,000 from the police officer would also go to the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-191 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
Nays: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Csordas
* Council recessed at 9:02 p.m.
* Council reconvened at 9:18 p.m.
CM-04-05-192 Moved by Capello, seconded by Gatt; MOTION CARRIED: To postpone item #1, Adoption of Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2004-05, to follow item #7 on the revised agenda.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-192 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt
Absent: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
3. Consideration of the request of Scott A. Riddle for Hummer of Novi for a proposed Concept Plan. The subject property is located in Section 24, north of Grand River Avenue and east of Meadowbrook Road in the GE (Gateway East) District. The subject property is approximately 6.72 acres. The applicant is proposing an automobile dealership.
CM-04-05-193 Moved by Capello, seconded by Gatt; MOTION CARRIED: To approve of the request of Scott A. Riddle for Hummer of Novi for a proposed Concept Plan. The subject property is located in Section 24, north of Grand River Avenue and east of Meadowbrook Road in the GE (Gateway East) District, subject to the comments placed on the record that evening during the public hearing. The subject property is approximately 6.72 acres. The applicant is proposing an automobile dealership.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-193 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Csordas
Absent: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
Brian Larson, 49793 Leland Circle, said that as a 21-year resident of Novi and a business owner in the City, it was absolutely unsettling that Council would vote to deny the transfer of a liquor license to Hooters. The City needs more businesses, as they are good for the community. At a time of budget cuts and money woes, the City needs to bring all of the income to the area as it can. By denying the liquor license transfer, Council was putting the City in the crosshairs of another lawsuit that it cannot afford, and he did not feel that the community should have to put up with this.
Wayne Hogan asked to speak regarding the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department and the Americans with Disabilities Act improvements that are necessary. These improvements were supposed to be made in 1993. It is now 2004, and there has been plenty of time for the City of Novi to catch up. The Justice Department does not look kindly at this type of nose-sticking. It takes a lot of money to make an old car work again. If the City fixes the parks up and becomes ADA compliant, there is no more money that must be spent to do so, and citizens can enjoy those parks.
Mayor Csordas said he agreed. He felt that this was the number one priority for the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Commission, and felt that commission should stick to that priority.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II
4. Consideration of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.189 to amend Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, Appendix A of the City of Novi Code of Ordinances, to modify the standards for the height of inpatient hospital facilities in the OSC, Office Service Commercial Zoning District: to add a definition of "Inpatient Bed Facilities" to Section 201 Definitions G-K; to amend Subsection 1101.3; to add Subsection 1201.6, Principal Uses Permitted in the OSC District; to amend Subsection 2301.3; to add a new footnote (v) to Section 2400, referencing the OSC District only; all for related purposes – Second Reading
CM-04-05-194 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.189 to amend Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, Appendix A of the City of Novi Code of Ordinances, to modify the standards for the height of inpatient hospital facilities in the OSC, Office Service Commercial Zoning District: to add a definition of "Inpatient Bed Facilities" to Section 201 Definitions G-K; to amend Subsection 1101.3; to add Subsection 1201.6, Principal Uses Permitted in the OSC District; to amend Subsection 2301.3; to add a new footnote (v) to Section 2400, referencing the OSC District only; all for related purposes – Second Reading.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-194 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry
5. Consideration of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.192 to amend Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, Appendix A of the City of Novi Code of Ordinances, to amend Subsection 2516.1.b to clarify site plan submittal requirements; to create subsection 2516.1.e to clarify requirements for submittal of plans that propose construction of new public and/or private roads, regardless of whether any buildings or other structures are proposed; and to amend the site plan manual, as it relates to types of development that follow the site plan review process, as permitted under Section 2516.2.a, for related purposes – Second Reading.
CM-04-05-195 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.192 to amend Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, Appendix A of the City of Novi Code of Ordinances, to amend Subsection 2516.1.b to clarify site plan submittal requirements; to create subsection 2516.1.e to clarify requirements for submittal of plans that propose construction of new public and/or private roads, regardless of whether any buildings or other structures are proposed; and to amend the site plan manual, as it relates to types of development that follow the site plan review process, as permitted under Section 2516.2.a, for related purposes – Second Reading.
Member Capello recalled that at the previous meeting that this matter had been discussed, he had asked for a comparison to be made between the ordinance that he thought Council had adopted in the same vein to see if it overlapped this ordinance or if it only applied to residential properties.
Mr. Evancoe asked Member Capello for a clarification of his question.
Member Capello said that the first time this issue came through for a reading, he had brought up the Iroquois subdivision on Beck Road between Nine Mile and Ten Mile. When that development came in there were questions on whether it had to comply with City standards when it was developed. He believed that Council had passed an ordinance that required the development would have to meet City standards. He felt that the ordinance under consideration seemed to overlap that prior ordinance. He was not sure if the old ordinance only involved residential property, or if it involved residential and commercial. He said he had asked for a comparison to determine if this ordinance overlapped the prior or not.
Mr. Evancoe said he did not prepare such a comparison. He did not believe that the Planning Department had done such an analysis.
Member Capello said he would not hold up the passing of this ordinance, but asked for the Planning Department to find this information. Council might have to tweak this ordinance or revisit one of the two ordinances so that they do not conflict or overlap.
Mr. Evancoe replied that he would be happy to do this.
Member Nagy asked Barb McBeth if there was anything that she could answer in regards to the ordinance.
Ms. McBeth replied that with regard to the question about the small residential subdivision off of Eight Mile Road referred to as Iroquois, the matter had been discussed briefly with the City Attorney’s office. They feel that this ordinance might have some effect on that development, although that development was done primarily with lot splits, which are done administratively through the City Assessor’s office. This ordinance is more likely to help the City with industrial or office site condominium developments and residential site condominium developments, but not necessarily in a lot split situation.
Member Capello asked if there was no sense to combining these two ordinances into the same area so that when someone is looking for lot splits or subdivisions they can only look to one area of the ordinance.
Ms. McBeth said the Planning Department had spoken briefly with Tom Schultz, the City Attorney, about this. They found that this is really a separate administrative function. This would not address something that would only have to do with lot splits.
Mr. Fisher noted that subdivisions are governed by the Subdivision Control Act. Legal counsel is in the process, at the direction of Council, of preparing an ordinance to amend the City’s ordinance to address that type of issue. If need be, a reference can be made in that ordinance to the process here, to make sure that it is compatible.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-195 Yeas: Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello
6. Approval to amend Novi Code of Ordinance No. 04-149.07 to amend Chapter 3, Article III, Section 3-13 and Subsection 3-14(h)(11) regarding the definition of applicant and to add criteria for review – Second Reading.
CM-04-05-196 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Lorenzo; MOTION CARRIED: To approve to amend Novi Code of Ordinance No. 04-149.07 to amend Chapter 3, Article III, Section 3-13 and Subsection 3-14(h)(11) regarding the definition of applicant and to add criteria for review – Second Reading.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry noted that he would not support the motion. He had no problem with clarifying the definition of the applicant, but as he had said last time, he disagrees with adding seven criteria for what constitutes need. There are already 20 criteria, and 27 would be over-legislation.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-196 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Capello, Gatt
7. Suspension of Council rules to reconsider the matter of Hooters liquor license transfer without giving notice.
CM-04-05-197 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Capello; MOTION CARRIED: To suspend Council rules to reconsider the matter of a liquor license transfer for Hooters without giving notice.
Member Gatt noted that Council rules state that to bring up something like this reconsideration, notice would normally have to be given on the Wednesday before the meeting.
Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Fisher how he felt about this matter.
Mr. Fisher said that Council had done this in the past with regard to reconsideration, to suspend that rule and allow a vote on reconsideration. This was a policy question for Council to decide.
Mayor Csordas asked if there was precedent for the suspension of rules on this matter.
Mr. Fisher replied that he could not recall what the subject was, but Council had done a reconsideration on a matter where prior notice had not been given.
Member Lorenzo said she would not be supporting the motion for the same reason that she had given at the beginning of the meeting to amend the agenda. She did not feel that the suspension was fair to the public. Council provides agendas to the public on cable, at the Library, and other public places so that they know what to anticipate on the agenda. This issue has been of great importance to many members of the community, and it is not fair to place the matter on at the "eleventh and three-quarter hour." For that reason, she would not support the motion.
Member Paul noted that she felt the same as Member Lorenzo.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-197 Yeas: Nagy, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt
Nays: Paul, Lorenzo
Member Gatt said he had come to a very difficult decision. He has only been a member of Council for six months or more, but this is the most difficult decision that he’s had in that time period. He noted that there had been no discussion with other members of Council or any deals made, and recalled that the Mayor had walked into the meeting believing that the City would be faced with a lawsuit from Hooters. He said he does not personally want a Hooters in the City of Novi because he does not like the restaurant. However, he has spoken with police, judges at the Circuit Court level and at the District Court level, city officials and former city officials, and former elected officials. Every person had told him the same thing – if Council proceeds with saying "no" to Hooters, the City will lose and it will cost a lot of money. He has his own reasons for not wanting Hooters, his own legal reasons for not wanting Hooters, but his reasons are not good enough. There are 50,000 people in this City, and he has to do what is best for those people. Hooters is a very tough and controversial issue. He has received as many phone calls and items of correspondence from those in support of Council’s "no" vote as from those who were angry with this vote. After much thought and after much, much deliberation, the proper thing for him to do as an elected official of 50,000 people was to reverse his prior votes and make the following motion.
CM-04-05-198 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Capello; MOTION CARRIED: To reconsider request from Hooters of Novi, LLC to transfer ownership of 2001 Class C liquor license with Dance Permit from R.H.F. Enterprises, Inc., 2635 E. Highland to 44375 Twelve Mile, Suite G-155, Novi, MI, (Fountain Walk) and request for a new Entertainment Permit.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-198 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt
Nays: Nagy, Paul, Lorenzo
CM-04-05-199 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Landry; MOTION CARRIED: To approve of request from Hooters of Novi, LLC to transfer ownership of 2001 Class C liquor license with Dance Permit from R.H.F. Enterprises, Inc., 2635 E. Highland to 44375 Twelve Mile, Suite G-155, Novi, MI, (Fountain Walk) and request for a new Entertainment Permit.
Member Nagy said she appreciated Member Gatt’s comments and knew this was a very difficult decision for him and all on Council to come to. She said she would remain with her original conviction, but appreciated Member Gatt’s sentiments and everything that he had said.
Member Lorenzo asked those on Council who were considering voting in the affirmative on the matter to do what Council had done in the case of the Post Bar, and place the applicant on notice that if the liquor violations that have been seen at the numerous Hooters show up in Novi on a regular basis, Council would also have the option of placing the company on notice that its liquor license would be in jeopardy. Additionally, she requested that it be included in the motion to limit the scope of contests to sports-related issues. From what she recalled, the company had wanted to be able to hold contests for prizes, and she recalled that a recent article suggested that Hooters does not limit its contests to sports.
Mayor Csordas asked if this was a request for a friendly amendment.
Member Lorenzo replied that this was correct.
Member Gatt said that before he could accept the amendment he would need to know more about what other types of contests Hooters might hold. He did not want to do something that Hooters would sue for anyways. He agreed with Member Lorenzo in that he does not want any contests that are lewd or something that Council does not want here, but he did not want to just accept the friendly amendment on its face because it was too broad.
Mayor Csordas recommended that, depending on the outcome of the vote, the City could pen a letter to Hooters of America expressing this concern and be on record.
Member Lorenzo said she was not sure if that letter would hold any weight, which was why she had sought the friendly amendment. The contest that she had referred to, for which the newspaper staff writer had been in attendance, was apparently lewd. She suggested a friendly amendment for not allowing any lewd contests.
Member Gatt said he would accept Member Lorenzo’s friendly amendment for no lewd contests.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said he would also agree to the friendly amendment.
Member Paul asked how the word "lewd" was defined, as she felt this was very vague.
Mr. Fisher said that when Lucky Strike had appeared before Council, the City was able to get that company to sign an agreement that limited certain activities, namely the timing of service at a particular bar. The Liquor Control Commission will not consider itself bound by a motion such as this that places a condition on the license in the absence of an agreement that the City would actually have to enforce independently. If Council were to try to fix a condition onto this motion, it would not be acceptable to the Liquor Control Commission. It was either an up or down vote to either pass or not pass, in the absence of an agreement by Hooters to limit itself.
Mayor Csordas suggested that he could contact the highest-level management at Hooters of America and tell them of Council’s action. Council could jointly pen a letter, and he would represent this to the management, asking the company to consider the City’s requests. He said he agreed with the idea behind the friendly amendment, which was why he would be happy to make every effort to do so.
Member Paul said that when Lucky Strike came forward, Council put an ordinance in place as to when children could actually play that establishment’s games. She asked if Council could put something similar into effect that would apply to all entertainment permits.
Mr. Fisher said Council could pass an ordinance that would allow discretionary decision making, aside from the license. This was really a licensure issue. The Lucky Strike issue related to service at a particular bar that appeared to be attractive to minors at the time that minors would be there. With the Hooters situation, the City does not have an ordinance that addresses this type of activity generally, with or without a liquor license. The only issue before Council was the issue of the liquor license with the permit, and this was only an up or down issue.
Member Paul said she understood. Her question was whether an ordinance could be put in place after the Hooters liquor license went through, to make sure that there is no lewd activity with any of the entertainment permits or liquor licenses that have been granted.
Mr. Fisher replied that there is precedent for prohibiting certain activities at licensed establishments. The real question would be whether Council could define precisely what it would want to proscribe. The next issue would be whether it could be enforced retroactively. There is some precedent for creating restrictions that relate to licensed establishments. The basis for those restrictions is that it can be demonstrated that there is a certain secondary effect that comes from activities such as that. The secondary effect that has been upheld has been based upon expert reports and similar sources to show there would be more criminal activity, more fights, and other activities that draw police attention and other resources. Merely saying that Council will stop lewd activity because if feels the activity is lewd would likely not be upheld.
Member Paul said she understood. She said she was asking whether it was clarified in the ordinance for whether the requirement could exist.
Mr. Fisher replied that there is not really a "yes" or "no" answer to the question. It takes expert reports and information to establish a secondary effect.
Member Gatt said he would not accept any adjustments to the motion. He wants the motion to go through as is in order to stop any potential lawsuit. One thing that Council could do that it did not need the Liquor Control Commission’s or anyone else’s permission for, was to direct that decoy operations be conducted without notice. The current practice is to send a notice out to the licensee saying that the City will come and check on the facility. Council could direct the Police Department to conduct decoy operations in that establishment on a very regular, routine basis, without giving notice. If there would be anything going on that would violate any ordinance, any State law, any Liquor Control law, the City will catch it. If they are caught, Council will have "more food for thought" later on.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-199 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt
Nays: Paul, Lorenzo, Nagy
1. Adoption of Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2004-05 (continued).
Mayor Csordas commented that Council should summarize where it was with the budget.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said that, during that evening, the Planning Director had been added back into the budget; the number of dispatchers had been reduced from 16 to 15 effective July 1st; on January 1st, a sergeant will be added upstairs in the Police Department; $50,000 will be placed into the judgment trust fund; $28,000 will be placed into the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department, to be spent according to administration; the extra $10,000 was to go to pay for the sergeant for half a year.
Member Gatt asked if he could make a motion to disregard everything that had been done that evening and start from scratch.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said that Member Gatt could move to pass as the ultimate budget what Council had come to the evening with, plus whatever he was about to say.
CM-04-05-200 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Capello; MOTION WITHDRAWN: To adopt the fiscal year 2004-05 budget as City administration had set and Council had come to this evening’s meeting with. On January 1st, one police officer shall be promoted to Sergeant, and one additional police officer shall be hired. Of those two positions, the Sergeant, which will cost about $10,000, and the police officer on January 1st, which will cost about $40,000, shall be funded by forfeiture funds. On January 1st, one sergeant will be placed upstairs as an administrative sergeant to be used at the Police Chief’s discretion. Council will take $50,000 from the rainy day fund and give this to Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, to be used whatever way that administration sees fit. The Planning Director position shall be reinstated. Everything else in the budget shall remain the same.
Mayor Csordas asked if by rainy day funds, Member Gatt meant the judgment trust fund.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said that he had come to that meeting’s evening with the understanding that there was $146,729 to be reallocated. Assuming that the Planning Director position was reinstated, this amount would be down to about $88,894. He asked Member Gatt if he was suggesting that the $50,000 to Parks, Recreation, and Forestry come out of that $88,894.
Member Gatt replied that this was fine.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said that instead of the rainy day fund, or fund balance, Council would take $50,000 of that $88,894. He said that if he understood the motion correctly, the $40,000 and the $10,000 for the sergeant would be paid during the first year out of forfeiture funds.
Member Gatt replied that this was correct.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if the motion reinstated the Planning Director; otherwise, everything that Council came to the meeting with remained the same.
Member Gatt replied that this, too, was correct.
Mayor Csordas asked if the numbers added up.
Ms. Smith-Roy commented that Council had to be careful about any motion that called for spending forfeiture funds that the City does not have.
Member Gatt asked how much money the City has in the forfeiture funds right now.
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that right now, the City has $110,000 in forfeiture funds. However, those are not federal funds, but rather State forfeiture funds that follow different rules, and they cannot be used for personnel costs. The funds that the City will receive in January are federal forfeiture funds, which can be used for personnel costs.
Member Gatt asked if he could make a motion that as soon as the City receives those federal funds, the City would make the two moves of Police Department hires.
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that Member Gatt could form a motion however he wanted to have a resolution come back to Council for spending the forfeiture funds. Council does not even need this resolution, but it could be included in the motion.
Member Capello commented that the funds could not be spent before the City receives them. Otherwise the funds could not be allocated to an existing position.
Mayor Csordas stated that $88,894 was what Council had to reallocate, assuming that the Planning Director position was included in the budget.
Member Gatt asked if another $38,000 or so could be taken out of the rainy day fund and given to Parks, Recreation, and Forestry to show a compromise. He did not feel that the City would be sued by Hooters now and would have a bit of extra money to allocate.
Member Capello said that in his motion that he had amended, he had taken $50,000 of the $88,894 and placed it into the judgment trust fund. Since Hooters was no longer an issue, he suggested taking that $50,000 from the judgment trust fund and allocating towards Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, to do whatever that department would like with the money. The extra police officer would be funded by the reduction of the dispatcher.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if the dispatcher reduction as of July 1st was part of Member Gatt’s motion.
Member Gatt replied that this was correct. As of July 1st, the number of dispatchers would be reduced to 15.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry commented that the only change to the motion that either he or Member Capello had made that evening was that there would be $78,000 to Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, instead of $28,000.
Member Gatt said this was correct.
Member Capello suggested that Council should deny Member Gatt’s motion and make another motion to amend the budget to take the $50,000 that would have been placed in the judgment trust fund, and instead give this money to Parks, Recreation, and Forestry.
Member Gatt withdrew his motion.
CM-04-05-201 Moved by Capello, seconded by Landry; MOTION FAILED: To amend the budget as amended that evening, to reallocate the $50,000 placed in the judgment trust fund instead to Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, to be used as that department sees fit. This would mean a total amount of $78,000 to Parks, Recreation, and Forestry.
Member Paul asked where Council was in terms of adding police officers and sergeants. Council had discussed a number of different options. She asked Member Capello how his motion addressed the matter.
Member Capello replied that the budget includes two new patrol sergeants, one new patrolman, all previously agreed to before that meeting. At that evening’s meeting, Council had reduced the number of dispatchers to 15, and decided to use that money to hire another patrolman beginning in January. Council had also promoted a patrolman to sergeant in January and allocated an additional $10,000 for that raise.
Member Paul said the available funds for allocation decreased from $88,894 to $78,894 with the third sergeant. She would not be able to support the motion. She appreciated the attempts at finding funding for Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, but Council was trying to add three sergeants and one police officer. She said she would be willing to put that money from forfeiture funds, when it comes forward, towards putting another sergeant in place and putting another police officer in place. The City would have six months out of two years’ budgets covered by those funds. Then, Council could try to absorb those two hires for the long term. She would not support that portion of the motion. She noted that Council had not addressed the legal services line item.
Ms. Cornelius asked Member Capello to clarify that his motion was only to amend the budget, not to adopt the total budget document.
Member Capello replied that this was correct.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-201 Yeas: Capello
Nays: Csordas, Landry, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
Member Capello asked Mr. Helwig if the budget had to be adopted that evening, or if it had to be adopted by the end of May.
Mr. Helwig referenced the City Charter: (Adoption of Budget Tax Limit, Section 8.5). "Not later than the third Monday in May, the Council shall, by resolution, adopt a balanced budget for the next fiscal year; shall appropriate from the several funds of the City the sums necessary to finance the budget; and shall provide for a levy of the amount necessary to be raised by taxes on real and personal property for municipal purposes." He said that the last part was the key for why the requirement to pass the budget was not later than the third Monday in May. If taxes will be levied according to the 10.5416 mills and collection will begin this summer, the budget needed to be done that evening. He said Council was "playing with fire" by not adopting the budget as required, that evening.
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Consent Agenda items, which have been removed for discussion and/or action)
F. Approval of request from Orchard Grove Community Church for an Outdoor Gathering Permit at 40545 14 Mile Road (vacant land) to hold a Sunday morning church service on May 23, 2004 from 10:00 A.M. to Noon.
Member Paul said she had spoken with the people from Orchard Grove Community Church. The Fire Marshal had some serious concerns about the road to where the church service would be located. This is a dirt road containing many holes and gullies. The Fire Marshal had been concerned that emergency vehicles could not get back to the church on the road if someone needed EMS service. The entire facility has been moved forward so that the road does not have to be used at all.
CM-04-05-202 Moved by Paul, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve item F of the Consent Agenda, Approval of request from Orchard Grove Community Church for an Outdoor Gathering Permit at 40545 14 Mile Road (vacant land) to hold a Sunday morning church service on May 23, 2004 from 10:00 A.M. to Noon.
Mr. Klaver noted that Fire Marshal Evans had indicated that he was to have a meeting the next day with the applicant. It appeared that the event had met all of the required conditions. Fire Marshal Evans had requested that the permit be conditional so that he had an opportunity to review and confirm what appeared to be compliance with this request.
Voice Vote on CM-04-05-202 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
8. Consideration of establishing a committee to study Engineering Department services and report to Council prior to goals setting.
Member Capello noted that he no longer had any comment on the item, and asked to withdraw the item from the agenda.
1. Adoption of Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2004-05 (continued).
Member Nagy said she wanted to make clear what was already set in the budget. Two sergeants and one patrolman would begin January 1, 2005. Council had already removed one dispatcher position, leaving 15. This left Council with only a few issues.
CM-04-05-203 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Lorenzo; MOTION FAILED: To amend the fiscal year 2004-05 budget to include two sergeants and one patrolman beginning January 1, 2005, the removal of one police dispatcher position, transfer $78,000 to the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department, reinstate the Planning Director position, go out to bid for legal services by September 1, 2004, and fund legal services until January 31, 2005, for the amount $175,000. Should the City receive the Fire Department grant for firefighters’ masks, Council shall provide $20,000 in matching funds. Administrative wage adjustments shall be 3.25%.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said he could agree to everything in the motion except only funding legal services until January. He asked for someone to articulate why, if legal services are clearly needed for the entire year, Council would only fund this for half of the year. He questioned what the benefit to the City would be from this.
Member Lorenzo said that from her point of view on going out to bid, Member Paul had articulated this previously. She asked why the City would "show all of its cards" and all of the money that it might have available to a bidding firm. If a company were to see a large amount of money available in that line item, it may make its hourly fees higher and higher to make sure it uses all of that money up. It is a poor strategy to provide all of the funding and show all of the cards. She agreed with Member Paul about this matter. Typically if something is funded, the entity will find a way to spend that amount of money, which is human nature. Firms that would bid for legal services do not know how much money Council is willing to fund for the next six months. As Member Paul had said, this could be $175,000, it could be $150,000, or it could be $200,000. It is not a good business practice to, when going out to bid, show all of your cards. The money would be in the general fund balance if Council needs to use it, for however much it needs.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said that since he has been on Council, the City has gone out to bid on engineering, wetlands, façade, and is going out now on traffic. In none of those instances did Council not fund, and in none of those instances did providing the funding hurt the City in billing. Nobody is complaining about the City’s wetlands consultants or façade consultants. Council has never done this to his knowledge. He did not feel that providing six months of funding was a matter of strategy. When Council sits down to determine a budget in the millions of dollars, it cannot decide to just set aside a certain amount for legal services and then deal with the rest of legal services in January. There has never been the need to have this as a strategy in the past, and nothing is different now. It does not make sense to pass a budget and not pass a line item for legal services for the entire year.
Mayor Csordas asked how much the City has spent on legal fees for the past three years.
Ms. Smith-Roy said the information that had been distributed to Council showed the 2002-2003 actual, which was $428,000. $404,000 of that money was specifically for the City Attorney. The estimate for the current year is $558,500, which includes escrow, the City Attorney, and other legal. The estimate for the proposed budget is $507,150.
Mayor Csordas asked what information he had, which showed an analysis of Secrest Wardle billings, including assessing, tribunal work, general fund, escrow, Sandstone, SAD roads, and total. The total for 2000-2001, October to June, was $420,000; in 2001-2002, $810,000; 2002-2003, $619,000.
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that this was accurate. This represents the charges not just to this specific "City Attorney Department" line item, but also the charges charged to the Assessing Department and the judgment trust fund, as well as to the road funds. The charges for the City Attorney’s office get allocated to a number of different places.
Mayor Csordas asked what amount in the current year and previous to this current fiscal year had been budgeted for that line item.
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that for just the department, out of the general fund, the City had spent in 2002-2003, $403,715, including escrow.
Mayor Csordas asked how much was in the line item this year.
Ms. Smith-Roy said that the estimated cost for this year is $499,000. For the budget for next year this is $450,000.
Mayor Csordas said he understood what was being said, but as a business person, an organization needs to have a line item budget allocated. His concern with moving money from this line item to the general fund was that it would be held up and negotiated with come January. Council might then not want to move the money out of the general fund and back into this line item because something could come up. As the ultimate risk manager of the City, he wanted to express his concern to Council about exposing Council to this possibility. Council needs to leave the line item there. His concern about transferring the money from the City Attorney line item to the general fund was that the money would go to the general fund, something would occur, and the money could not be transferred back for whatever reason. He said he could support everything else in the motion.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked Mr. Fisher, as the official parliamentarian for the City, if legal services were funded for the entire year and the City goes out to bid, how many votes on Council it would take to approve either rehiring his firm, or hiring a different firm.
Mr. Fisher replied that if the monies were allocated, this would take four votes. If the monies were not allocated, it would take five votes.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry commented that this was what was really going on.
Member Lorenzo asked Member Nagy if she had brought the salary adjustments down to 3% in her motion, or if she was leaving these at 3.25%. If it were to break a stalemate, she would be willing to go to 3.25% for that line item. She wanted to clarify that other consultants are paid by virtue of applicant fees. The large bulk of the attorney’s fees are paid from the general fund. It is irrelevant to refer to other consultants because they get their money from applicant fees. She was not willing to show any law firm the City’s cards at this point. She does not want firms to know how much money is available and know that they can make all of that money, maybe more.
Member Nagy said she did not believe she had included a 3.25% wage adjustment in her motion. She asked if she could amend her own motion to include for administrative wage increases of 3.25%.
Member Lorenzo stated that she was agreeable to this amendment.
Member Nagy commented that she did not like other people speaking for her and saying what she was thinking or not thinking. She did not know the City Attorney had so much power over the City. She likes the Attorney, but does not like them having this much power. She felt as though there was a sense of protectionism. Law firms bid on the City’s contract. There is no presumption that Secrest Wardle is not the firm that Council would rehire. It bothered her that people were misconstruing her comments. Going out to bid would not mean that the City would not rehire the current firm. Allocating the funds for this much money until December 31st, 2004, is fine. Perhaps Council can watch how much it spends in legal fees. She would like to see costs such as administration calling the City Attorney to decrease a bit. Perhaps the City just needs to refocus how it is spending legal dollars. Her intent is to be cautious. The City has gotten to the point now where it is giving everything to everyone. She felt that Council could pass the motion with the amendment of 3.25% salary increases.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-203 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
Nays: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Csordas
CM-04-05-204 Moved by Capello, seconded by Landry; MOTION FAILED (Five Votes Required): To approve and adopt the 2004-05 budget as amended through that evening’s meeting.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-204 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Csordas, Landry
Nays: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES - None
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION – None
CM-04-05-205 Moved by Capello, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the meeting of Council.
Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Helwig what would happen if Council adjourned without approving the budget.
Mr. Helwig replied that there would be no levy certified to the County, and the City would begin to prepare for no spending after July 1st.
Voice Vote on CM-04-05-205 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
There being no further business to come before Council, Mayor Csordas adjourned the meeting at 11:28 p.m.
Lou Csordas, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by Steve King
Date approved: June 7, 2004