VILLAGE OF GRANVILLE COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES September 20, 2000
CALL TO ORDER (by Mayor Robertson at 7:31pm)
ROLL CALL (7:31pm) Those responding to the roll call were Councilmembers Crais, Moore, and McGowan; Vice Mayor Wernet, Mayor Robertson, and Manager Hickman. Attorney Robert Erhard was present to sit in for Law Director Hurst. Councilmember Crais moved to excuse Councilmembers Bellman and Lucier; second by Vice Mayor Wernet. The motion passed, with Councilmember McGowan abstaining. [Note: Councilmember Bellman arrived at 8:35pm.]
CITIZENS’ COMMENTS (opened by Mayor Robertson at 7:32pm) Blues Festival: Jerry Martin, 15 Briarwood Drive. Speaking for the Blues Festival organizing committee, he expressed appreciation for the Village’s help and presented a check for $1,000 to go toward landscaping expenses. Next year’s projected Festival date is September 8, 2001.
Mayor Robertson closed Citizens' Comments at 7:35pm.
OLD BUSINESS (opened by Mayor Robertson at 7:35pm) None
NEW BUSINESS (7:36pm) Resolution No. 00-33, A Resolution Accepting The Amounts And Rates As Determined By The Budget Commission And Authorizing The Necessary Tax Levies and Certifying Them To The County Auditor, was introduced and the applicable portions read in full by Councilmember Crais. Second by Vice Mayor Wernet. A Roll Call vote (required by the Resolution) yielded five (5) affirmative votes: Councilmembers Crais, McGowan, Moore; Vice Mayor Wernet, Mayor Robertson. Resolution 00-33 is carried.
(7:42 pm) Resolution No. 00-35, A Resolution To Authorize The Village Manager To Submit A Grant Application For 2000- 2001 Capital Improvement Projects To District 17, Ohio Public Works Commission, For Funding, On Granville’s Behalf, was introduced and read in full by Councilmember Moore. Second by Vice Mayor Wernet. A voice vote on Resolution 00-34 yielded five (5) ayes. Resolution 00-34 is carried.
(7:43 pm) Resolution No. 00-36, A Resolution To Authorize The Village Manager To Accept And Sign An Escrow Agreement Between The Park National Bank, Newark, The Granville Golf Course Co., And The Village Of Granville For The Colony At Bryn Du, was introduced and read in full by Vice Mayor Wernet. Second by Councilmember Moore. A voice vote on Resolution 00-35 yielded five (5) ayes. Resolution 00-35 is carried.
Personnel Committee Councilmember McGowan presented the Committee’s 2001 salary- schedule proposals for Village employees. Attachment B showed a 3.5% CPI across-the-board adjustment, applied to the existing categories of the 2000 scale. Attachment C showed a revised scale, eliminating Step A of the 2000 salary schedule as the lowest level of the scale and creating a new column for the highest level, 4% above the previous high. Vice Mayor Wernet, asserting that our goal is to attract and retain good employees in a way that is economical for the community, listed two factors that help determine appropriate adjustments: 1) productivity—usually a result of longevity on the job, and 2) cost-of-living adjustments. Both factors affect employee retention. He suggested that we do the wage-and-salary study sooner rather than later to determine if any of our salaries are out of line with area benchmarks. He also noted that, if Attachment C were adopted, existing workers might end up making less than new ones brought in at Step A of the new scale. Mayor Robertson added that Attachment C, with the reclassified steps, could conceivably “demote” someone from Step B to Step A and create a perception of “punishment.” Responding to a question from Councilmember Crais, Manager Hickman stated that employees leave because of wages, morale, and lack of recognition. Council controls the wage issue; morale and recognition issues are addressed by the Village Manager. Councilmember Moore noted that people in general want the opportunity for advancement, they want to contribute, and they want recognition for doing a good job. In other words, money is not the only issue. Manager Hickman agreed, stating that morale concerns can stem from such diverse issues as an increase in insurance rates to the unease generated by employees’ knowledge that salaries are being discussed. Councilmember Crais, calling the system a bit “muddled,” asked that it be clarified for Council. Since members of Council felt fairly united on the philosophical issues behind the salary scale, Mayor Robertson requested Molly Roberts to prepare the information in percentage form rather than raw dollars, copy it to Council, and return to Council’s next meeting for the renewed discussion of how to best present the information. Vice Mayor Wernet agreed with Councilmember Moore’s preference for a set pool of money for increases, with performers getting more of an increase than non- performers. Councilmember Moore also suggested some sort of incentive payment (perhaps gift certificate or the like) for work above and beyond the call of duty. She also asked Molly Roberts to prepare a three-year runout on the projections contained in Attachment D. In addition to the salary study, Councilmember Crais asked to see some data on how our wage scale compares to communities with similar schools, incomes, quality of life, desirability (e.g., Hudson or Shaker Heights). He also wondered what percentage of village staff in those comparable communities is able to live where they work. Manager Hickman noted that 2% of Granville’s employees live in the Village; 4%, in the combined Village/Township area. Vice Mayor Wernet noted that there is a real benefit derived from some particular employees, especially police officers, living within the community.
MAYOR'S REPORT (8:30pm) The Mayor's Court Report for the month of August was presented for review. Several members of Council were struck by the increase in traffic citations; Manager Hickman will speak with Chief Cartnal to see if he can explain it. Vice Mayor Wernet made a motion to accept the report. Second by Councilmember McGowan. Motion carried. Mayor Robertson directed the report be filed with the Clerk. A copy of said report is attached as part of these minutes.
MANAGER'S REPORT (8:32pm) The Manager's Report for the month of August was presented for review. Manager Hickman noted that, while there have been tickets issued under the parking permit system, no one has been ticketed twice or towed. Vice Mayor Wernet made a motion to accept the report. Second by Councilmember Moore. Mayor Robertson directed the report be filed with the Clerk. A copy of said report is attached as part of these minutes.
REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES (8:35 pm) The minutes of the regularly scheduled meeting of September 6, 2000, were presented for review. The following additions/corrections were requested: 1) Page 6, “Minutes.” The Deputy Clerk reported that Councilmember McGowan’s remarks were not on the tape at the point in question. However, since many members of Council remembered a discussion that included the questions and answers indicated, it was decided that the reference may stay in the Minutes for September 6, 2000. 2) Page 7, Street & Sidewalks Committee. Vice Mayor Wernet asked that an extra phrase (“etc., Councilmember Crais, the mill,” be deleted). 3) Page 7, Tree and Landscape Committee. Councilmember Moore noted that it was Councilmember Crais who reported that Kirsten Pape was working on the South Main Street plan presented at a previous meeting. 4) Page 7, Truck Scales. Mayor Robertson clarified that Phil Watts had said he was willing “to speak with her” (not with “council members”) about the scale at the Mill. She also asked council members about the possibility of a delay until “she talks to Mr. Watts,” not until Mr. Watts “comes to a Council meeting.” 5) Page 7, Truck Scales. Councilmember McGowan asked that “He then stated that” be deleted as what follows what actually said by Manager Hickman himself. 6) Page 8, Truck Scales. Councilmember McGowan asked that his name be deleted from the phrase “Councilmembers Crais and McGowan both prefer…:” it will now read “Councilmember Crais prefers….” Councilmember Crais made a motion to accept the minutes as corrected. Second by Councilmember McGowan. The motion carried
COMMITTEE REPORTS (8:45pm) Development Committee (Councilmember Crais). Has not met but he reported that the brochure is approaching final form. Hopes to meet September 28 to continue review of the brochure and begin conversations about the formation, feasibility, and/or /wisdom of putting together an economic council. Cited a letter from Kitty Consolo about farmland in the township and noted the committee would also be opening discussions re the farming community, reacting also to an upswell of interest in both the township and the village about preserving these lands.
Finance Committee (Councilmember Moore). Met with Molly Roberts. Going ahead with calling early all the outstanding Sewer System Mortgage Revenue Refunding Bonds. A total of $150,000 will be retired completely with reserve-fund money and the principal due ($85,000) will be paid off, in addition to interest. They also reviewed finances and report that revenues are increasing. Newark-Granville Joint Committee (Mayor Robertson). Was unable to meet last Friday, but will do so on October 20, 2000.
Personnel Committee (Councilmember McGowan). See the discussion on Page 2.
Planning Commission (Councilmember Lucier). No report.
Rec Commission (Councilmember McGowan). Meets the first week of the month.
Street Light Committee (Councilmember McGowan). Installations to begin this week.
Streets & Sidewalks Committee (Vice Mayor Wernet). Beautification Committee: met with Connie Barsky, representing the Beautification Committee, to discuss where the plan stands in re different constituencies. The Committee suggested a dual process in which both the Village and the Beautification Committee/GPBA should bring their plans through the Village government process (i.e., the Planning Commission) to provide ample opportunity for everyone to voice opinions. The goal is to have both groups’ plans presented there sometime in October—the visual and safety aspects of the redesign of the Broadway crosswalk; ideas about changing the look of the street signs; the redesign of intersections to minimize the distance pedestrians must travel without impeding traffic flow at Broadway-Main and Elm-Main; and the recommendation, based on the South Main Street test, on whether or not to use flashing yellow lights at the Broadway crossing. The issues would then come to Council in December, go out for design in January and bids in February/March. July 4th: the Committee also approved all the current proposals by the Fire Department so as not to impinge on any July 4th celebrations. Ms. Barsky is investigating how to provide safety at the Broadway crosswalk without disturbing the usual arrangement of rides, food booths, etc.; she will report back. The Committee is working with Ruth Owen and the GBPA to ensure the full support of the downtown business community. Specific concerns to be worked out with Kiwanis include how to meet all the applicable fire and safety regulations about entry/exit points without losing any rides. Golf-Course Sidewalk: the Committee is still considering how to deal with the safety issues of the golf- course sidewalk. Discussion: Councilmember Crais, noting that he had been struck by how carefully the Beautification Committee had worked for consensus, suggested it might be profitable for Council to do a review of all ideas from the Beautification Committee to make sure they had all gotten a full hearing. He also suggested that Council meet on a Saturday to review and prioritize the overall list of projects. Other members agreed that would serve us well; Mayor Robertson asked that a date be set. Councilmember Bellman gave high marks to the bike-path improvements around the mill and the railroad station, and suggested erecting a sign that might read, “Improvements Made by the Village of Granville.” Council’s consensus was for Manager Hickman to mention the improvements in his column rather than erecting a sign.
Tree and Landscape Committee (Councilmember Moore). No report.
Union Cemetery Board (Councilmember Lucier). No report
Meeting with Phil Watts (Mayor Robertson): Reported a “fruitful” discussion and said there’s a possibility we could get something to happen here if she and Manager Hickman could meet with Mr. Watts one more time. Councilmember Crais asked Mr. Erhard if there were any legal implications of a law enforcement agency using private scales (i.e., what would happen if there were an accident in the process?). Mr. Erhard stated he was not aware of anything unusual in such an arrangement (e.g., officers could issue tickets for offenses in the IGA parking lot). He could see, however, that somebody might raise an issue about certification of the scales or how often they are tested, since the Village has no way of knowing if they are accurate. Vice Mayor Wernet pointed out that what we need is a scale that weighs by maximum pairs of axles, which is what we’ve ordered. The mill scale weighs the entire truck, full and empty, to determine the weight of the grain, a process that might not be applicable to the Village’s purposes. Councilmember Crais, while still opposed to dragging the process out any further, said he would be willing for Mayor Robertson to proceed with another meeting with Mr. Watts. Vice Mayor Wernet expressed general concern about any time-of-use restrictions that might be imposed. Manager Hickman said the scales ordered by the Village should arrive soon. Vice Mayor Wernet stated that when they arrive they should be installed. Mayor Robertson cautioned that “sometimes peoples’ views evolve over time.” Councilmember Moore feels we are “beating a dead horse” and Vice Mayor Wernet feels it’s “time to cut bait.” Mayor Robertson reported that Mr. Watts is willing to consider a trial period. That idea was not acceptable to either Vice Mayor Wernet or Councilmember Crais. Mayor Robertson emphasized she is trying to help counter criticism of the scale location by visibly exhausting all the possibilities. If this doesn’t work, we can proceed with the scales as ordered and sited, and report to the public that using the Mill’s scales was not feasible. One way or the other, it will be settled in two weeks. Mr. Erhard noted that the mill cannot exempt their own customers from being weighed if we are using their scale. Vice Mayor Wernet wondered, if we were to use the Mill’s scale, what the Village would do with two “concrete paths to nowhere” and scales being shipped in “at some great expense.” He added that any agreement with the Mill would have to pass “constitutional muster” and that the Village’s own salt trucks would have to comply with legal-weight restrictions. Councilmembers Moore and McGowan were willing to have a trial period; Councilmembers Crais and Bellman, along with Vice Mayor Wernet, were not. Mayor Robertson stated again that she wants to make sure the press reports that Council has tried to work this issue out in all kinds of ways. OTHER: Manager Hickman distributed a memo from the volunteers who, prior to this year, had been maintaining the Broadway boulevard beds and end caps. They are especially disappointed at the current condition of the end caps, noting the evidence of “weeds, overgrown shrubbery, and declining plants.” The volunteers are offering their help and asking for Village assistance in the purchase of new shrubbery as well as some cleanup. Manager Hickman said they were asking for approximately $3,500 to restore the end caps to their former condition; after that, they would take care of it themselves. Councilmember Bellman suggested allocating $5,000 at this time, putting the excess in a reserve account for them to use; Council agreed. Manager Hickman will see to the paperwork for a special appropriation and ordinance, as well as the creation of the new fund. He also reported that the group would like to have some kind of plaque or stone that would recognize members of the community for their contributions. Mayor Robertson asked Manager Hickman to let the volunteers know how much Council and the community at large appreciate their work. Manager Hickman said he would try to set an “Appreciation Day” in October. MEETING ANNOUNCEMENTS Next Village Council meeting – October 4, 2000
EXECUTIVE SESSION At 9:17pm, Councilmember Crais moved that Council go into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing personnel matters. Second by Councilmember Bellman. A Roll Call vote yielded six (6) affirmative votes: Councilmembers Bellman, Crais, McGowan, and Moore; Vice Mayor Wernet, Mayor Robertson. All not involved in the executive session left the chamber. At 9:28pm, Councilmember Crais moved to close the executive session; second by Councilmember Bellman. A Roll Call vote yielded six (6) affirmative votes: Councilmembers Bellman, Crais, McGowan, and Moore; Vice Mayor Wernet, Mayor Robertson. The Executive Session was closed. SUMMARY OF EXECUTIVE SESSION Council reached a mutually acceptable agreement with Manager Hickman, who will remain in his post as Village Manager.
ADJOURNMENT Councilmember McGowan made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 10:00pm. Second by Councilmember Crais. Meeting adjourned.