|View Agenda for this meeting
REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
Mayor Csordas called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Csordas, Mayor Pro Tem Landry, Council Members Capello-absent, Gatt, Lorenzo-absent, Nagy-absent/excused, Paul
Member Capello arrived at 7:01 P.M.
Member Lorenzo arrived at 7:02 p.m.
ALSO PRESENT: Richard Helwig, City Manager
Clay Pearson, Assistant City Manager
Tom Schultz, City Attorney
Barbara McBeth, Director of Planning
Kathy Smith-Roy, Finance Director
Douglas Shaeffer, Police Chief
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Member Capello added to Mayor & Council Issues: 1. Discuss replacement street trees in subdivision and 2. Hiring of department heads in the City
CM-05-08-263 Moved by Paul, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the agenda as amended.
Motion passed by Voice Vote
PRESENTATIONS - None
SPECIAL/COMMITTEE - None
CITY MANAGER - None
DEPARTMENTAL - None
ATTORNEY - None
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
CM-05-08-264 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Consent Agenda as presented.
Roll call vote on CM-05-08-264 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Gatt, Lorenzo, Paul
Absent: Nagy, Capello
A. Approval to schedule Executive Session immediately following the regular meeting of August 22, 2005 for the purpose of City Clerk and City Manager evaluations.
B. Approval of final adjusting change order and final pay estimate to Ajax Paving Industries, Inc. for Meadowbrook Road Reconstruction Ė Phase 1 (from Grand River Avenue to Twelve Mile) in the amount of $55,941.37.
C. Approval of Claims and Accounts Ė Warrant No. 702
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION
1. Consideration of Policy for Federal Forfeiture Funds and Recommendation of First Priorities for Use of Funds.
Mr. Helwig said he had advised Council that as of late Friday the Police Department received another allocation in forfeiture funds based on drug asset seizures amounting to $2,300,712.47. This is over and above the $1,332,821.57 that is to be discussed this evening. Mr. Helwig said Council has been provided a recommended policy guidelines document for Councilís consideration, as well as the most pressing needs as the Chief and staff see them for this first round of funds. He said they would like to have time, based on Councilís guidance tonight, to consider where to go from here on this next round of funds. Mr. Helwig said Chief Shaeffer has indicated there would probably be at least a third round of dollars.
Chief Shaeffer complimented the men and women of the Novi Police Department who have been so instrumental in making up this investigation and to the citizens of Novi for providing the resources necessary for the Police Department to do so. He said this is one of the most successful drug investigations in the history of the United States. Chief Shaeffer said he was very proud of the men and women, the leadership they provided, and the high ethical standards that they subscribed to throughout the investigation.
Chief Shaeffer said once they learned of the forfeiture funds, he and the department staff met with Mr. Helwig and his staff and Finance met and drafted a proposed set of guidelines for Councilís consideration. These guidelines would be used for the expenditure of these monies. Chief Shaeffer said there is a large amount of money here and they thought it was very important to be guided with very high principled standards.
Mayor Csordas stated this was great news and was compounded by the fact that millions of dollars more were received last week. Mayor Csordas said in the private sector there are bonus systems for people who go over and above the call of duty and asked if any of the agencies Chief Shaeffer dealt with had a bonus program for this type of thing.
Chief Shaeffer said the Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA, has a very rich reward program. They can promote people as they are not unionized, they can be rewarded with up to a week off of extra time over and above their vacation allowance, they can receive a step raise for favorable investigations and they can receive a cash award up
to $5,000, but he would like to verify that amount. Also, with approval from their Chief Administrator they can receive more cash than that or any combination of those.
Mr. Helwig thought the Chief would like to go on and talk about the guiding principals for a moment to see if there are any questions and describe the actual recommendations to Council. Mr. Helwig said first and foremost in the guiding principals is viewing these as one time funds and not becoming dependent on them in any way for operations. He said there are a couple operational items in the guidelines. The staffing plan Council looked at a year ago was for four officers in this fiscal year and we have added none. If the intent is to add officers, the recommendation is to add two to protect our cash reserves using it for the first year. Itís the same with some vehicle replacements which are an every three year type of operational need. Council has talked about going to the 800 mega hertz trunk system, etc. Mr. Helwig wanted to highlight the notion of a rolling reserve and they couldnít come up with a better description other than with each receipt of monies the two year time limitation clock goes off, the time limitation for Council to expend or encumber those funds. While it is important to keep something in reserve, 8% to 12%, that can roll with each allocation so that we always have something to cover costs or overages, those are the essentials in this. An official vote will be needed on the budget for these funds.
Mayor Csordas commented that he understood that Mr. Helwig has accounting functions and responsibilities as far as a reserve and that he has time limitations for spending the money. It is a very nice position to be in when you have 8, 10 or 15 percent of $1.3 million to play with in case something else comes up on top of the $2.3 million and maybe more. Mayor Csordas asked Chief Shaeffer to review the recommended expenditures.
Chief Shaeffer said we werenít able to fund any of these items in last yearís 2005-2006 budget because of financial constraints. Yet the Police Department had ongoing recognized pressing needs for vehicles, hardware and furniture that will house a new 800 radio system, patrol equipment, material for emergency operations center, computer needs, building improvements and staffing. The asset money provides us with a means to do these things.
Member Gatt stated he was almost shocked to hear discussion about a bonus for the Police Officers. He didnít believe the Novi Police were policing for profit. He said there is $90,000 set aside for overtime costs for the officers involved and he thought that was profit enough. Member Gatt said they have done a tremendous job and have gone above and beyond what they are normally expected to do, but to start putting profit as a motive for policing is a very dangerous precedent. He said these are big numbers but letís reduce it to an everyday event. Do we start giving the traffic officer a bonus if he/she writes 12 tickets more than they are expected to do, do we give officers a bonus if they arrest 12 people more than they are expect to. He felt it could lead to no good and he didnít know of any department that did this. He said he is so proud of the Novi Police Department and put ourselves in a situation that taints a wonderful investigation is just the wrong place to go. He would never be in favor of providing a bonus to any officer for doing the job they are paid to do.
Member Gatt said regarding spending this money, he would stay consistent with what he said during goal sessions and felt it should stay at the bricks and mortar level. We shouldnít spend a lot of money on things that are going to go away in a few years. Cars and computer systems come and go. He said what the City of Novi needs is a pistol range where the officers can go and practice trade. The training they get is adequate and they go to the range in Farmington a couple times a year and to a rifle range a couple times a year, but thatís not enough. We need a range in our City that the officers can go to on a regular basis in a building that is state of the art. Recently, Council approved money for rifles and all the officers now carry rifles instead of shotguns and they need to practice with those rifles more than two times a year. We need a range that will last longer than anyone in this building will last and we need to do something with this money that will be a testimony to the great work these officers did long after they are gone. To spend the bulk of this money on things that will rust and become obsolete in just a few years is not his ideal and he would not be in favor of it. He thought the Officers should come into the work force through the general fund. To use this money that is only available for one year would be better spent on the bricks and mortar portion.
Member Gatt said improvements that we need, he could go along with. He said just a few years ago the Novi Police Department had a very large building improvement project and he didnít know if all the allocated money was spent and now he asked why some of that money wasnít spent then. He would be in favor of upgrading the radio system, building a pistol range and bricks and mortar items.
Member Gatt said we are always talking about build out and the Chief and Council would probably agree this is a once in a lifetime event. Why not use it to prepare the Police Department and our building for build out. He commented that locker space and training space is needed and we probably need more exercise room. We need to do this today so we donít have to go to the voters a few years from now. In the years to come, people should be able to go by the building and see what that money built. We have to start budgeting the money in the General Fund for the police cars, computers and for the things that are normal routine expenses.
Member Lorenzo appreciated the comments of Member Gatt. She congratulated the Chief and his department and all of the departments that worked so hard in this effort. We have such a magnificent police department and they did such a phenomenal job and she is so proud and appreciative for the job they do every day for us in the City of Novi. Everyone watching in the audience should be eternally grateful for that.
Member Lorenzo said she takes an opposite approach from the previous speaker because the way she looks at every issue is that she would like to see if some of the pressure could be taken off of the General Fund in terms of expenditures. She gave an example from the tree fund, whenever we can utilize the tree fund for purchases of equipment for Parks and Recreation or trees or anything tree related she would rather pay for things out of the tree fund than to put pressure on our General Fund. She commented she looked at this the same way.
Member Lorenzo thought they budgeted every year for police vehicles as that is a union contract issue with a replacement cycle every two to three years. Mr. Helwig agreed
and said up until this year they have budgeted for vehicles and personnel and put all of that in abeyance because they knew Council would be visiting this topic.
Member Lorenzo said she saw this as up to two years of relief from our obligations for police vehicles from the general fund. In fact, this year we utilized those monies that would have been budgeted for vehicles for other expenditures such as an expanded Capital Program, especially in the fleet of vehicles in the City of Novi. She asked the Chief if two years worth of expenditures have been used.
Chief Shaeffer said no, this is the first year.
Member Lorenzo asked if Council wanted to, this year, if they could double that up. Chief Shaeffer indicated they could. Member Lorenzo said we could put 16 police vehicles and 8 unmarked vehicles and then we would also be taking the burden off next yearís General Fund to provide those.
Mr. Helwig said essentially that is correct if looking at the overall list of need. It is eight unmarked but it is 14 marked; we have nine, which is over half of the marked vehicles that we need over that two year period.
Member Lorenzo said thatís the way she looks at this, as a way to relieve the General Fund. She realized that in the 3rd and 4th year Council will have to start budgeting police vehicles again out of the General Fund, but it would give us a two year relief valve in terms of having that General Fund money to spend on other areas, perhaps the Fire Department to make expenditures in those areas that we would not necessarily be able to do if the General Fund was encumbered with these expenditures again.
She commented she would only support one additional officer from these funds, because after the first year she didnít think they would be able to fund a second one into the future. She would not like to have someone laid off if they couldnít continue to fund their position. She would like to fund two years worth of vehicles now. She questioned the two year policy and asked if there was any appeal or waiver for this unique circumstance in terms of getting an extension of having 4 or 6 years to spend the funds.
Chief Shaeffer said he has had conversation with Federal guidance and it is a 2 year rule and they want to see the funds expended. Now, if you are in the middle of a program and a process and it is going to take another year or two to carry out that program and that money has been earmarked and dedicated to that program, then they are comfortable with that kind of component.
Member Lorenzo asked if it was possible to go to the top and ask for any kind of appeal or if there would be any give on this issue given the magnitude of the kind of monies we are receiving. She would like us to try either by going to Washington or by appealing to the State Senator or Representative to see if there is a way, and if there is not then there will be dollars to do bricks and mortar.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that whatever disagreements happen at the Council table on this subject should be the most welcome disagreements we should every have. We really canít make a mistake here and this is truly found money. He asked Chief
Shaeffer about the March 28, 2005 document and if it was sort of a wish list for the Police Department as of that date Chief Shaeffer said yes. Mayor Pro Tem Landry said on the second page the total is $5.2 million. Mayor Pro Tem Landry said if reading this correctly after these first two installments of forfeiture money, we only need another $1.6 million to provide everything on the wish list.
Chief Shaeffer said they have a very highly principled standard here that they do not wish to expend funds or encourage Council to expend funds before they are received. However, for Councilís planning discussion, Chief Shaeffer stated it is his opinion that they will have enough money to do everything on the wish list plus additional funds.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry repeated what Chief Shaeffer said and asked if he understood it correctly and Chief Shaeffer said yes. He said Council budgeted little to no funds for the police department in our annual budget this year expecting that we were going to take care of the needs. Member Lorenzo talked about that cost shifting, correct.
Mr. Helwig said the updated March 28, 2005 document was included in the budget document so Council would have a current list of this and none of these items were touched in your annual program strategies.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said there was last year or the year before a plan to add a certain number of police officers every year. He asked if, according to that plan, should four officers have been added this year. Mr. Helwig said this is the police. We had the fire staffing plan as well and this is the budget document of 2004-2005. For the fiscal year 2005-2006 four police officers, which would take the number of officers from 54 to 58.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry disagreed with the previous speaker with respect to preferences that even adding two; we are still behind the curve. He said he could clearly support adding two police officers because he would have been in favor of finding the money in the budget to add them were we not expecting this. He felt they would be ahead of the game even if we get one yearís worth salary for the two officers. Mayor Pro Tem Landry said from what he is hearing Council will be able to do the fire range and do what is being suggested tonight if Council desires. He would like to see bricks and mortar also but it looks like we will be able to do that so he would support what is being prepared tonight.
Member Capello stated one of the major goals is to construct a firearms range for the officers, and out of the two proposals that we have he thought the $2.5 million estimate is the type of range needed in the City. This type of range not only provides the officers with a range to practice their shooting skills, but it would put them in types of situations which they are not normally put into in the City of Novi, which could save lives of hostages or victims of crimes in difficult situations. Member Capello said he couldnít support anything on the list that is not bricks and mortar, at this time. When we have a sufficient amount of money he would look at the other stuff. He thought the only thing he committed to at the time of the budget was a pro rata share for the new computer upgrade system that we are sharing with the City. We do have to reimburse the General Fund for the $90,000 of over time. He said depending on what training and education they were asking $5,000 for he might support that. Member Capello said the other
areas he could not support and wanted them first to come to Council with an actual proposal for a firearms range and he would like to see combined in that building a better training facility. Member Capello said he had expected a lot more than we ended up with when our training facility was built and the Police Department deserves a lot more.
Member Capello said our District Courts have a phenomenal drug program that other courts in the country model themselves after and Judge MacKenzie travels around speaking to other District Court Judges about our program. At times they utilize our Civic Center to have graduations and other events directly related to the drug program. He said in the packet before Council the Federal Forfeited Fund Regulation of Expenditures our law enforcement equipment and operations, law enforcement facilities, training, drug education and awareness programs and he thought all of that fits into a facility where we can offer drug education and drug training not only to the officers but to our children, the D.A.R.E. program and to those that may run into drug and alcohol problems at the District Court. He thought Council had a great opportunity now to provide that. He said what is before Council, to spend almost $1.2 million and almost everything on the list will be obsolete and spent out in a few years. The vehicles will be gone in two to three years, and he didnít look at the communications equipment as a need but as a want and will be outdated in a couple years along with the computers. He wanted to see Council do something with this money that would be around and have an impact on this community for a long period of time. He didnít want to spend $1.2 million and have nothing to show for it in two years. Member Capello said to come to him with a firearms facility with a drug education training facility and then he will talk about the other stuff. At budget time, he said if you want vehicles budget for them because he would not use forfeiture funds for them until a bricks and mortar facility is done. Somehow we need to go back to the budget and figure out how to budget for those facilities and he also said he would not budget money for a police officer out of these funds when our General Fund is going to have to pick up the cost of the additional officers in future years. Member Capello said he is all for additional officers but they have to be budgeted out of a different fund. He would not support any of this tonight except for the reimbursement of $90,000 for the overtime and the $205,000 for the integrated financial management system.
CM-05-08-265 Moved by Capello, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:To allocate $90,000 of the drug forfeiture
money towards the reimbursement to the General Fund for the
overtime for officers that were working on the drug
investigation, $205,000 to the Integrated Financial
Management System, which is the Police Departments pro rata
share to be contributed to the City for their new updated
computer system, to add $227,970 for the nine police vehicles
per the police contract and an additional $203,000 for the
communication equipment. Also, to ask the administration to
bring back information on the firing range.
Member Paul was looking for clarification regarding the $227,970 for eight replacement vehicles plus one new one. She said her understanding was that we would take the equipment from the old eight vehicles being replaced and putting it in the new eight
replacement vehicles. Chief Shaeffer agreed. She said then all new equipment would
have to be bought for the one new car. Chief Shaeffer agreed. Member Paul said she divided it out evenly putting nine into $227,000 and got $35,330 per vehicle. She believed that $24,000 was allocated for each replacement vehicle in the past. She asked for clarification of replacement vehicles and their costs. Member Paul said she had the understanding that the vehicles would be bought and used in other departments this budget session. She said we were going to take whatever vehicles we had to have for the Police Department per contract is seven and the vehicles would be purchased from that department and that is why Council allocated a lot more vehicles across the board to other departments.
Mr. Helwig said Council made separate and distinct decisions to replace a lot of junk in other departments and purchase a new senior van, etc. Council authorized that at the last meeting. The police replacement of marked and unmarked vehicles was put off to this discussion. There was not any money set aside in any way to deal with police vehicles in the adopted 2005 and 2006 budget.
Member Paul asked if she was correct in saying that there are seven (7) vehicles to replace per our union contracts. Mr. Helwig asked what the number coming up in this fiscal year. Chief Shaeffer said there would be a total of nine vehicles. We will have eight vehicles that need replacement plus the one additional vehicle per the contract. He said the budget numbers that were utilized for marked vehicles is $23,330 per vehicle. He said in her calculation, she might have put in the four unmarked vehicles that they also proposed replacing in the current fiscal year as well. She said she was looking at the City of Novi Special Revenue Fund.
Ms. Smith-Roy stated in addition to the vehicles there is additional equipment that needs to be installed on the car and that is purchased separately from different venders. So that is the difference in the cost as that is an additional $4,000 per car for all the equipment. Also, the new car is going to require a new laptop so all of that is built into those numbers.
Member Paul said so you need nine vehicles this year per contract. Chief Shaeffer said correct. She said there was no way they could not pay that so she couldnít support the motion as it stand. She would like to see at least the nine vehicles that are expected in this forfeiture fund and also agreed with paying the $90,000 back to the General Fund and the $205,000 for the management system is also a must.
Member Paul said for the one patrol officer her understanding was that they took Craig Klaverís salary and divided it by two. We said we could have one firefighter who would be hired in December, if we received the grant money, some would be spent towards a firefighter. Then, we would also hire a police officer whose first year would be paid with the forfeiture fund and would be allocated in the future, because we would have part of Craig Klaverís salary to pay for that in the future. She understood that they would be
hiring at least one patrol officer. Member Paul completely understood that more police officers were needed and also could understand the firing range, and if we have enough money to do all of these things, she would be willing to talk about a firing range. When you come to talking about more personnel and more health insurance she wanted to know how they would work that out in the future. Member Paul said she was all for
having the nine vehicles that are required by our contract and thought it was wonderful that they are using this money to spread it out around the City to areas that we could not have done if we did have a budget that we had to put these nine vehicles in. Member Paul stated now we have to do our union contracts so letís look at $227,970 and if the motion maker wanted to accept this as a friendly amendment she could support the motion with the three items $90,000 for the General Fund and the $205,000 for the Integrated Financial Management System. Then we can talk about the $227,000 and maybe continue this conversation after we get those three things approved. She thought they were very fortunate to be looking at this kind of money and she applauded the Chief and the entire department for all their successful work. When more money comes in, we could look at acquiring more vehicles. She asked Member Capello if he would like to include the nine vehicles, which is our union contract, as a friendly amendment
Member Capello stated if the amendment is to add just the marked vehicles required by union contract this year with no other vehicles and not go back and look at any other expenditure until we get a fixed price back on brick and mortar structures he would accept the amendment.
Member Paul said she would like more discussion about that, but said those are three musts and she would support the motion if they were all in the motion. Otherwise, she would not support the motion. She said she was willing to look at the firing range and at the higher number because it is coming, but she wants the vehicles put in place to fulfill the union contract.
Mayor Csordas stated he absolutely 100% supported all Chief Shaefferís recommendations because he and the committee know best what is needed for his department than anyone sitting on this Council. He said clearly Chief Shaeffer put forth what he needed and Mayor Csordas liked that he put forward in a future budget to handle all of the projected funds in a very thoughtful manner. He agreed that this is a one time opportunity that will stretch over a couple budget sessions to provide significant relief to the General Fund. Mayor Csordas said they did talk about buying all these vehicles, because they were pretty certain that the money would be here for all these cars and he was amazed that people were forgetting that. He remembered talking about the one year relief for two officers and the discussion was that the Council didnít add any officers because it was like a one year grant. He said this also allows us to provide relief to the budget and increase and maintain our surplus in the next few budgets and we can clearly do that with these windfalls coming in. He said the other vehicles that were purchased made no sense and as far as the firing range that makes no sense either, as it is in the budget and if they felt it was something they needed, it would have been brought forward in this budget. Mayor Csordas said there was no doubt in his mind that the Chief didnít believe the firing range is necessary. However, he will go with the Chiefís recommendations because you and the joint committees know better than Council where to spend this money. He asked if City Council had any say over how to spend the money; letís ask the hard question.
Mr. Helwig said there needs to be a City Council adopted budget and we need that to maintain discipline in this whole undertaking. Mayor Csordas said there is no doubt that the firing range is a big want and not necessary. Mayor Csordas said he would not support the motion because he didnít think anyone on Council could make a better recommendation than the Chief and the committee.
Member Lorenzo appreciated Mayor Csordasí comments and Member Paul was on target regarding additional personnel. She said the Fiscal Analysis looked at a ten year period between now and 2015. It clearly states that the base model demonstrates that at the current millage rate the City will be able to maintain current staffing levels in addition to completing some prioritized capital projects. She noted that because of the elimination of the Chief of Operations position they realized an addition $149,781 in the budget. However, as Member Paul stated we said one police officer would be hired and one fire protection officer and that accounts for that position. Her concern was that they would not have money again, in terms of our current millage rate, to continue paying for a second police officer in future budgets. Member Lorenzo stated she clearly understood that more police officers are needed, but we just donít have the money in future budgets right now according to our Fiscal Analysis. If something happens or something is built out that was unexpected and Council finds additional funds then it would be something to look at. Additionally, if there are positions eliminated in the City those would be other opportunities to look at hiring additional public safety personnel. Member Lorenzo stated she could not support two police officers because we canít pay for two in the future right now. Also, regarding the vehicles and not paying for them out of forfeiture the choice is we either pay for them with this money or dip into the Rainy Day Fund, she cannot support that. She would appreciate it if the motion maker would accept a friendly amendment to add the union obligations of the police vehicles.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said his memory agrees with Member Paulís memory that Council did not budget for vehicles because the money would be there. He voted for the budget expecting that the money would be used there. He said right now this proposed expenditure was based on $1.3 million and we received another $2.3 million today so he suggested to the maker of the motion that tonight we end the discussion with a vote on the $205,000 for the Integrated Financial Management System, $90,000 for the overtime and the contracted police vehicles. He suggested ending the discussion there and have the Chief and administration return with suggested proposals now that we have the other $2.3 million added to what we donít spend tonight, which has to be $3 million plus. Mayor Pro Tem Landry said he was in support of a range but would not support it without adding police officers. He offered this as a friendly amendment.
Member Capello said he specifically remembered all of the discussions regarding police vehicles and that they werenít in the budget because this money was going to be used. He said his comments were that he wasnít going to approve it. He understood what Mayor Pro Tem Landry was doing and it was what he tried to do by putting two things on the table that he knew he could vote for and at least get some money back into the General Fund. He would agree with Mayor Pro Tem Landryís suggestion, however, he asked what the amount was for the nine vehicles.
Member Paul said $24,000 for one vehicle multiplied by nine is $216,000. If we have the $4,000 to change some of the equipment from vehicle to vehicle with a replacement plus the new vehicle that makes up the $227,970, so we basically have $11,000 extra, and that makes sense.
Member Capello said then we will allocate $227,970 for nine marked vehicles, which he offered as an amendment.
Mr. Helwig commented he wanted to talk about the communications equipment. He said he had been in two older cities that made this conversion, one in the late 80ís and the other in the mid 90ís. Oakland County is behind the times by not having an 800 megahertz trunk system so that all public safety agencies can communicate with one another. This is the most fundamental of homeland security needs in this county. They are on a fast track now to get this done and in place by the end of this year. This is what we need to be a full participant in that system. Mr. Helwig asked Council to imagine, and he went through this in other communities, if you have a hazmat spill or evacuation where seniors have to go to your convention center because there is a train derailment, etc., and your own police and fire departments canít talk to each other, the County Sheriff or other communities. It is a very life threatening situation in terms of just raw communications. He emphasized that he could not underscore enough how important this recommendation is and if it is going to be a while before we get back to this with a fuller discussion, certainly given the time frame and importance of this issue he asked Council to consider to including the communication equipment this evening.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if the maker of the motion would accept a friendly amendment to include $203,000 for the communications equipment and end the discussions tonight.
Member Capello said then more than half of the money would be spent on four items.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry reminded Member Capello that the City received $2.3 million additional dollars last Friday, which is still enough to do the bricks and mortar.
Member Capello stated he was confident that the bricks and mortar would cost more than $2.5 million and that is why he wanted to look at the whole package. Mayor Pro Tem Landry said he would like to look at that package when we look at the whole $3 million plus that is left over. He said with the $2.3 million and whatever was left over from this budget he thought there would be enough to do the bricks and mortar.
Member Capello said he accepted the amendment and Member Gatt also accepted.
Member Paul said if they look at the $2.3 million and at everything that has been removed we have almost $3.5 million and there is still more coming in. She thought they would be able to get a full quote of what everyoneís intending for this monument that we are building, firing range, training center, etc., and she thought they would be able to do exactly what Member Capello was hoping and still do what is
necessary for our safety. The most important thing we have is the communication with all communities. We have had situations when our water went down and we could have
really used some help. The police and fire had a hard time communicating for a short period of time and then had one line that was remaining to communicate with two years ago. She asked Mr. Helwig if he was speaking of the dispatch console equipment at $203,000. Mr. Helwig said it was listed as Communications Equipment $203,000, which is the first item on the summary of request and expenditures. Member Paul said she would support the motion and wanted the nine vehicles in there because of our discussion and then we can talk about patrol officers for $172,000 and the other needed equipment. She thought just getting the vehicles paid for, Integrated Financial System, $90,000 repaid to the General Fund and she is very much in favor of these items and very much in favor of these items. She asked when this would come back to discuss the $2.3 million received on Friday plus the left over from tonight.
Mr. Helwig replied that based on what they know from the August 22nd agenda, he thought it would be brought back September 12th if Council agreed and they did.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said he would even be willing to add to the motion to get some estimates on the firing range and asked if something could be brought back by September 12th. Chief Shaeffer advised Council that they have estimates from an architect and it was provided to Council in the March 28th document with the wish list. Member Capello asked if he could bring the information to the next meeting so Council could see what that $2.5 million would cover. Mayor Pro Tem Landry wanted to add to the motion that Council would approve these expenditures and also ask the administration to bring back to Council information and investigation done on the firing range. Member Capello accepted the amendment.
Member Gatt wanted to add to the motion that they "put to rest" any notion of a bonus for police officers for doing their sworn duty. Mayor Csordas said that was never an issue; it was just a question.
Mayor Csordas asked Ms. Cornelius to state the motion.
Ms. Cornelius said the motion is:
To approve $90,000 to go towards the reimbursement to the General Fund for the overtime, to approve the $205,000 for the Integrated Financial System for the new computer system, to add $227,970 for the nine police vehicles per the police contract and an additional $203,000 for the communication equipment. Also, to ask the administration to bring back information on the firing range.
Roll call vote on CM-05-08-265 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Paul,
2. Approval to award a construction contract for the Nine Mile Road
Reconstruction to the low bidder, Six-S, Inc. of Waterford, MI in the amount
CM-05-08-266 Moved by Landry, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To award the construction contract for the
Nine Mile Road Reconstruction to the low bidder, Six-S, Inc.
of Waterford, MI in the amount of $1,597,108.33.
Member Paul asked if the Nine Mile area included the area going in to Chase Farms. Mayor Csordas said it did.
Roll call vote on CM-05-08-266 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Paul,
3. Approval to award a construction contract for the Novi Road Pathway from Ten
Mile Road to Arena Drive to the low bidder, Nance Construction, LLC of Westland,
MI in the amount of $122,931.84.
CM-05-08-267 Moved by Paul, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To postpone this item and bring back to Council a proposal for
additional sidewalks since the developer would be required to put
Member Capello asked why the were doing this connection now because the developer of the property between Walgreen and the Credit Union is going to be coming forward, and will be required to put the sidewalk in? Also, why wasnít the Credit Union required to put the sidewalk in when they built?
Mr. Helwig said in reference to the first question, this has been a Council priority for at least two years in the budget. So, after the boardwalk was done on Ten Mile and connected there to make the connection over to the other public facilities, Arena Drive . . .
Member Capello said it showed it as part of the proposed new pathway segment.
Mr. Pearson said there is a sidewalk. There is no boardwalk constructed but their frontage is limited. He thought they used Ice Arena Drive as a street intersection. Mr. Helwig said the map might be in error.
Member Capello understood that when Council set that goal they had no idea when the Erwin piece was going to develop, but now they have come to Council, they have plans, have talked about the rezoning, and are quite a bit ahead of the program. He suggested putting this off one more year to see how quickly they come to Council. Member Capello said that would save the City $123,000.
Member Paul said she would be amenable to that if Council could find another area where they could actually do the sidewalk on. If we have the money allocated for an area lets look for an area we can do it in. We have a lot of needs and have talked about right in front of Eleven Mile and we have gone from Beck to Taft Road. She said Mike Fellows agreed to put sidewalks in by the three soccer fields and she asked what about any other portion of the stretch that isnít going to be developed soon. She understood Member Capelloís thinking and could support it but she didnít want to not have an area they could actually complete for the public.
Member Capello said from Fellowís piece up to Johnson Printingís sidewalk might be a good gap to fill. Member Paul said that would be a very good gap.
Mr. Helwig thought it was interesting that they were saying that, because that is the other one that they havenít gotten to yet that has been on their priority list, the missing piece on Taft Road between Grand River and Eleven Mile.
Member Lorenzo asked if Council wanted to postpone this to bring back another proposal.
Member Capello said he would like to.
Mayor Csordas asked if that was the motion and called for a voice vote.
Motion passed by Voice Vote
4. Consideration of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.198 to amend Ordinance
No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, Article 2400, Schedule
of Regulations Ė Section 2404, Residential Unit Development and Section 2406,
Planned Development Options, to authorize City Council to approve
modifications of the area, bulk and other dimensional standards contained in the
Zoning Ordinance. FIRST READING
Member Lorenzo commented she was looking at pages 6 and 8 of the strike through version of the RUD modifications. The areas she wanted to discuss was whether the type of deviations they might be considering could have any fiscal impact and impact to our ability to deliver public services and facilities. She said if it does, then she would suggest paragraph E that would address that. In other words, she suggested changing the wording to "That the deviation would not create a fiscal impact or an impact on the Cityís ability to deliver public services and facilities to the proposed development or to the City as a whole."
Member Lorenzo said then on page 8, which reads "evaluation of fiscal impact of the RUD development on public infrastructure and public services" Member Lorenzo would like to add
"as well as the Cityís financial forecast" or something to that effect. She said Mr. Schultz could insert whatever language that would be best suited. Member Lorenzo said this was just to say that Council is not just interested in fiscal impact to the infrastructure and public services, but also to our tax base as well.
Member Lorenzo said she also had those types of comments for the PD version on pages 5 and 6. On page 5, #5, also add, where it talks about the deviation, similar language including "fiscal impact and the Cityís ability to provide public services".
On page 6 to add a #8 in terms of "evaluating the fiscal impact of a PD development on public services as well as the Cityís financial forecast". Member Lorenzo said she appreciated everything else and the information provided.
Member Capello said in the RUD agreement it talks about deviations from standards, area bulk, and dimensional requirements, and specifically refers to sections that talk about yard setbacks and buffers. On page 5 of the PDO it says basically the same thing, "Deviations from area, bulk and dimensional requirements" but there is no reference specifically back to something that talks about yard setbacks. He asked Mr. Schultz if he was comfortable that when talking about dimensional requirements it includes setbacks and buffers. If not just fit it in somewhere.
Mr. Schultz said typically it would but they would be happy to add that clarification.
CM-05-08-268 Moved by Capello, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve First Reading of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment
18.198 to amend Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi
Zoning Ordinance, Article 2400, Schedule of Regulations Ė Section
2404, Residential Unit Development and Section 2406, Planned
Development Options, to authorize City Council to approve
modifications of the area, bulk and other dimensional standards contained in the Zoning Ordinance, including changes proposed
by Member Lorenzo.
Roll call vote on CM-05-08-268 Yeas: Gatt, Lorenzo, Paul, Csordas, Landry,
5. Consideration of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.194 to amend Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, for the purpose of clarifying several sections throughout the Zoning Ordinance Section 25, including modifying the loading standards for banks, clarifying the definition of net site area and correcting several inconsistencies in the landscape section of the Zoning Ordinance. FIRST READING
Member Lorenzo had one addition on page 5 of strike through version of proposed ordinance amendments. Part IX where it says "The Planning Commission may reduce or waive the building foundation landscaping requirements when it determines". Member Lorenzo would like to add "when it determines that the applicant has demonstrated that practical difficulties exist due to parcel size or configuration, etc."
Member Lorenzo said at the top of same page 5, when talking about the situation of placement of trees not being in the 25 foot clear vision or trying to put them midway
between the curb line and the right-of-way; she felt they were making a conscious decision to move away from the previous philosophy of attempting to get street trees to develop canopies. She said that was the original reason street trees were placed where they have been placed since the street tree program began. She said if we are saying we can no longer for safety reasons or other reasons, do that she wanted everyone to understand that the canopy affect would not happen any longer.
Ms. McBeth thought that #11, regarding placement of trees, was meant to address situations where there were no sidewalks, and it had not been defined prior to that. She said she would like to talk with the landscape architect about Member Lorenzoís question about a conscious effort to move away from the canopy.
Member Lorenzo said Council could address this at the second reading. However, that was her recollection when the City instituted the street tree program they were envisioning canopy lined streets.
Member Paul commented that her understanding of the 25 foot clear vision is when you come to an intersection and did not apply when you are in the main portion of the street.
Member Paul said when on the Planning Commission and this was discussed they were looking at not putting shrubs because they would grow low and block your vision. So they were coming off 25 feet from the intersection and then putting the street trees. She thought that was not worded very well. Member Paul said the traffic engineer had specifically talked about the 25 foot clearance in intersections so that when you approach, your vehicle is approximately 18 feet long, you could visualize around the corner if you donít come completely into the intersection.
Ms. McBeth responded that Member Paul was correct having a low growing vegetation closest to the intersection. However, she didnít think it precluded having some trees a little farther away from that area, but definitely a lower area as you approach the intersections. Member Paul said that was her understanding and asked Ms. McBeth to clarify that for the next reading.
Member Capello asked regarding page 2 of the red line version, Part III Density, if net site area was defined somewhere. He thought it had been defined. Mr. Schultz said net site area is defined in Part I on page 1 and one of the purposes was to clear up whether or not it included the right-of-way. It will be a defined term from that point on.
Member Capello said he was talking about Part III, instead of using gross site acreage. Mr. Schultz said it will now be based on net site area. The new definition of net site area is one page back which is the change in Part I. The clarification is the right-of-way issue.
Member Capello said under Part IX, page 5 of same version, talking about waiver procedures. He said the Planning Commission under this area, where City Council has the authority to approve the site plans we should also have the ability to approve the waivers. Is that correct or is this only related to site plan decision making?
Mr. Schultz responded like most of that section and the ordinance generally, is set up for reference to the Planning Commission. On those situations where the Council is
actually a site plan approving body, that language usually says that Council would exercise whatever authority thatís given to the City in that regard.
Member Capello said he was thinking Planning Commission or approving body if there were situations such as in the RCC, the Main Street area, residential subdivisions, certain ones that come to Council for total approvals. If it is there, itís there and if not he would take Mr. Schultzís discretion the next time it comes back. Mr. Schultz said they would look at it.
CM-05-08-269 Moved by Landry, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve First Reading of Zoning
Ordinance Text Amendment 18.194 to amend Ordinance No.
97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, for the
purpose of clarifying several sections throughout the Zoning
Ordinance Section 25, including modifying the loading
standards for banks, clarifying the definition of net site area
and correcting several inconsistencies in the landscape
section of the Zoning Ordinance, including the review of
Roll call vote on CMó05-08-269 Yeas: Lorenzo, Paul, Csordas, Landry,
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - None
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Discuss replacement street trees in subdivision Ė Member Capello
Member Capello said a lot of street trees in subdivisions have been lost to the Ash Borer. Lochmoor Subdivision has allocated money to replace trees. They want to know if the City has a program in place to contribute half if the association contributes half. He said he knew Council had been looking for some grants and it seems that different things have come across the desk where we have grant money to help us out. He asked how the money was being allocated and where are those trees being replaced. Member Capello said Council needs a policy regarding this. He thought the City should pick up the entire burden since they are City street trees but if they are willing to contribute half he suggested Council put them on top of the list and help them out. He asked Mr. Helwig if he would like to come back at the next meeting with information.
Mr. Helwig said he would like to come back and supply Council, in an off week packet, a detailed summary of what we have been doing this year in terms of street tree planting and how it has been prioritized. He said if Council has any strong feeling right now about whether it should be all City or part residential, it would save a lot of work. It would probably be back before Council in the second meeting in September because of heavy agendas. Mr. Helwig said if Council can advise him tonight whether they want it City funded, tree funds or what have you, it would be OK. He asked if the second meeting in September was good for the policy discussion.
Member Capello said he had always believed that street trees were the Cityís responsibility. If a subdivision comes before Council and says they have some money, he would say loan us half the money to put the trees in and we will pay you in two years. He said they could contribute that, but they need to get their money back. If the City canít do it and they are willing to loan us half, letís take the loan interest free and give the money back in two years.
Member Paul said she has forwarded a lot of e-mail to Mr. Helwig about this subject. There are residents who are willing to pay half right now, one individual person. She said after waiting for several years for their trees to be replaced, they are very anxious to move forward and are willing to pay half without ever getting their money back. They are very anxious for Council to have this discussion. She said to have a whole subdivision want to move forward before someone else who has waited a longer period of time is where we are going to get into some issues. She said that is when we have to really make a whole policy decision. If we are going to have them pay for half because they can be moved forward on the list, we have to offer that to everybody not just one subdivision. She said since she has had so many e-mails from many residents, she thought a policy decision was needed and people are waiting for this to happen. Parks and Recreation discussed it earlier in the spring and they were waiting for Council to put it on the agenda. Now they are waiting for fall planting and if it is going to be discussed in September, that means that fall planting probably wonít happen. She suggested moving this to August 22 if possible and asked if it was possible.
Mr. Helwig said anything is possible when directed by Council to do it. The August 22 agenda is extremely full right now. He said another issue Mr. Aulerís office is recommending, which has not been reviewed by administration yet, that only spring plantings be done in the future. He said according to their data there has been much more success with spring plantings. He thought they were operating under the assumption they were not going to have a fall planting this year.
Member Paul stated she could support it either way but she didnít want a whole group of people to move forward long before everyone would have the opportunity to purchase it. It will be a very difficult discussion. She shared that she had lived in another state where the resident actually purchased half of the tree but didnít have to pay any labor and they were able to pick their trees. She thought that was similar to what Parks and Recreation was recommending. Some of our subdivisions have never had street trees because they couldnít afford them.
Mayor Csordas said he thought Mr. Helwig had a general consensus and there were a lot of good comments. He was familiar with the next agenda and asked that Council schedule this after the next meeting. The point is that it is not as simple as you might think and we have to consider that Mr. Aulerís been busy with something else.
Member Lorenzo agreed with Member Capello. This is a City instituted policy regarding all subdivisions would have street trees. The street trees are within City owned right of way property. They are not on private property so she believed that it is the Cityís responsibility to pay for the street trees. Regarding the people e-mailing about this that certainly didnít represent thousands and thousands of people that are willing to pay 50%. When talking about
the City as a whole, she thought they had to look broadly at everyone. It is the Cityís problem and the Cityís responsibility and she thought they should utilize the money in the tree fund. Residents should not have to pay a dime for a street tree that is going on public property.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry thought this was something that merited a hard look, and that a policy should be set that would stand up for a long time rather than try to rush into something. So, he said he would be in favor of waiting until September if that is what it will take to take a long hard look that is going to set a precedent for years. He also thought that the City should pay for them and since this is being broadcast, residents could come to us with suggestions.
Member Capello had suggested a while ago that they go to the developers who have the most amount of money posted as a bond to replacement trees in the City and offer them a discount on what they owe the City and if they cash out within 30 days the City will take 60%. This would get some money in to work with. He said maybe Kathy Smith-Roy could get information on the bonds and advise Council of who has money out there and how much is still out there in bonds.
2. Hiring department heads in the City Ė Member Capello
Member Capello said he was hoping to have this topic discussed at a future meeting in October or November. He knew Mr. Helwig felt responsible for people under him and if he does the hiring, they report to him and it is his responsibility whether they are good or bad. Member Capello said he felt the same and that ultimately it ended up on Councilís shoulders.
He wanted to see a policy that when specified department heads are hired, that administration goes through all the interviewing and comes to Council with a recommendation and that Council actually approves the hiring before it is effectuated. Member Capello said they ran into situations where they had difficult discussions during the budget times, which led to certain department heads being relieved of their responsibility. He thought that ended up on Council, and he would like to see that initial decision with administrations concurrence be Councilís decision.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated he disagreed with that opinion. This is a City Manager form of government and under City Manager form of government the City Manager hires and fires department heads. He didnít think it was any business of Councilís. Council hires and fires the City Manager and so for the record, he has a different view than Member Capello.
Member Gatt said he concurred with Mayor Pro Tem Landry as it stands now. However, we are in a unique situation now where we are going to hire a new City Manager in the new future. If we were to change the policy, that would be the time to do it, so the new person coming on board would know what the playing cards are.
Member Paul thought the City Managerís job was just that and a lot of people talk about micromanaging and she thought that was going down that line. There are some vacancies currently on the boards now. There is one in Planning that is vacant and she would like to add to this discussion that in Assessing, Council took one person away and that is the only department that has lost personnel since Mr. Helwig has been here. Member Paul asked if someone had been hired for the Planning position vacancy.
Mr. Helwig said no one has been hired in that position. He said, for the record, there have been other departments that have had reductions.
Member Paul said when initially looking at the budget, she had asked a lot of questions regarding what some of the departments responsibilities were. She doesnít understand all the
departments but knew that in Assessing someone is responsible for going out more than a few times to each site that is being built. She said they look at the quality of the materials, the actual construction of the site and then the completion. Then they can give an actual assessed value of what they think it is worth. Now, with all the different assessing Council has looked at initially talking about the grant, we have learned a little more about the assessing office. Member Paul said she was wondering if assessing needed another person. She said someone was taken from Assessing in previous years and put in them in Planning, and she asked if that could be reversed. She asked if they could look at the personnel that are no longer present with us and look at that situation as a whole. Maybe the discussion could happen here; not talking about department heads individually but where the employees are needed most at this time. Member Paul said she knew in Building, personnel was needed recently and maybe that could go along the same lines, look at our vacancies and maybe have an evaluation at the September meeting also or whenever youíre looking at talking about that.
Mr. Helwig said the table of organization is ultimately determined by City Council. After Council gets input from the directors and from him, Council decides where to allocate positions and resources. What has been done can certainly be undone.
Mr. Helwig wanted to comment on the other discussion. He thought it was very important that Council members revisit the City Charter before discussing recruiting firms and City Manager candidates. He thought it was very important and in most ways it is a very strong Council, Manager form of government and that includes personnel selection and so forth. Certainly, everything has to be in sync. If a Manager is not providing the resources and getting things done, then you get a new manager. Mr. Helwig said placement of accountability is one of the hallmarks. He said he works at Councilís pleasure day to day and that is about as high as accountability gets and then in turn, the City Manager can hold other people accountable for performance. He said the Charter is very clear on that and he would encourage the Council to spend some time with that before they start embarking on the replacement process.
Member Capello said the replacement process you mean is the City Manager. He said he didnít want him to indicate that he was looking at replacing your department. Mr. Helwig said no.
Mayor Csordas commented that he agreed with Member Paul and Mayor Pro Tem Landry that the ultimate responsibility should be the City Managerís. He didnít think Council should interfere with that because if Council doesnít like the people the City Manager has hired, we can move to him. In the future Mr. or Ms. City Manager can be held ultimately responsible for that and that seems to have worked for a long time. It works in business and he thought it worked here.
Member Paul said there is a letter in their packets and Mayor Csordas said that has been given to the City Manager to follow up on.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION- None
There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 8:39 P.M.
Lou Csordas, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
_____________________________ Date approved: August 22, 2005
Transcribed by Charlene Mc Lean