VILLAGE OF GRANVILLE COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES October 17, 2001
CALL TO ORDER (by Mayor Robertson at 7:32pm)
ROLL CALL (7:32pm) Those responding to the roll call were Councilmembers Crais, Lucier, McGowan, and Moore; Vice Mayor Wernet, Mayor Robertson; Manager Hickman, Law Director Crites. Vice Mayor Wernet made a motion to excuse Councilmember Bellman; second by Councilmember Moore. Motion carried.
CITIZENS’ COMMENTS (opened by Mayor Robertson at 7:33pm) All Topics: Sewer Service for the Schools Kathy Lowery, Superintendent of Schools, 130 N. Granger Street. Speaking on behalf of the Board of Education and at the request of the EPA, Ms. Lowery requested Council to reconsider providing sewer service to the new building. She reiterated that the School Board does not want water service, having already begun a water-treatment facility. Ms. Lowery noted that the ordinance being proposed includes a reference to a “good-faith” effort on the part of the School Board to annex into the Village. She then reviewed the Board’s “good-faith” efforts to date. She cautioned that there is no guarantee that annexation will occur since all property owners involved must agree. At this point, the School Board has its own vote as well as Denison’s; the two other property owners have not yet committed their support. [Vice Mayor Wernet asked if the School Board was backing off from “commitments” made to the Township Trustees. Ms. Lowery responded that they are constantly referring to the BZBA document. Also, no decision has yet been made about the turn lanes since traffic studies differ on whether or not they are needed. Vice Mayor Wernet asked if Rose Drive or Linnell Drive were involved in annexation; they are not.]
All Topics: Granger Street Kathy Rentz, 307 N. Granger Street. Ms. Rentz expressed her appreciation of the flashing red lights operating 24/7 at the intersection of Granger and Summit. To minimize motorist confusion, she requested that Stop signs be installed as well, especially if the lights are to be turned off at night. She also requested speed bumps on Granger—a street “critical” to the youngest children in town. She expressed some reluctance about alternate parking (e.g., having the Village use her car as a deterrent to speeders) but would opt for whatever is most effective. For Halloween, she asked if Granger could be shut down (or at least patrolled) during trick-or-treat to better protect the kids.
All Topics: Water Rates Don Curtis, 1942 Columbus Road. Mr. Curtis spoke as a follow-up to an earlier question about his water rates being so much higher than the Village rate, the Alexandria rate, and the Kendal rate. [Mayor Robertson responded that this seems to be a situation that has happened over time and asked if it could be put on the agenda for the next meeting. Manager Hickman suggested it go first to the Streets, Sidewalks & Utilities Committee, which would then bring it to Council, probably after the first of the year.]
All Topics: Broadway Boulevards Gwen Williams, West Broadway. Mrs. Williams was concerned about the status of the boulevards. Manager Hickman reassured her that the project had not progressed past the talking stage. If and when it does, citizen input will be asked for and public hearings held. He urged Mrs. Williams to spread that word.
Sensibilities/St. Luke’s Episcopal Church – Council Discussion (7:55pm) [Note: Councilmember Crais recused himself from the discussion due to his connection with St. Luke’s.] Councilmember Lucier noted that the proposed plans had come to Council with a recommendation for approval from the Planning Commission. As owners of the property, however, Council must first consider the implications of allowing a sub-lessor to do an expensive addition, then determine whether or not doing so would imply a long-term commitment to that sub-lessor.
Bill Hayes, an architect and a member of St. Luke’s, noted that the church must go to the County to change the use group of the building and must also provide two accessible restrooms and an outside stairway to the second floor. Since trying to fit those two items in the existing footprint would use up most of the available space, they propose to demolish the existing one-story addition and replace it with a two-story one (in the same footprint). The estimated cost is $80,000-$100,000. Councilmember Lucier, after determining that the current lease arrangements only extend, at most, for eight years, asked if the church thought that kind of expenditure was worth it for such a short time span. Mr. Hayes responded they simply couldn’t use the building without the modifications. Councilmember Lucier stated strongly that she doesn’t want Council to give the impression that the church would have the use of the building for “a long, long time,” since future councils might choose not to renew the lease. Doug Bolden, speaking for the Church, said they had made the decision to go for this project since there is no land for them to expand where they are, it’s too expensive to move, and no one wants to vacate the historical building. Even if they only have use of the building for eight years, this project would help them to grow into the future.
Manager Hickman reported that the project proposal had already been approved through the codified ordinances and Planner Seth Dorman is happy with the layout and materials, and the project would be a nice improvement to the building. He also emphasized the possible eight-year time frame. Mayor Robertson asked that this be put on the November 7th agenda. Councilmember Moore asked Law Director Crites to review the lease to verify how this fits in; he will be prepared to address the issue at the November 7th meeting. [Councilmember Crais returned to the table.] Human Resource Solutions, Inc. (HRS) – Wage/Salary Study (8:05pm) Tim Reed, of HRS, noted that their report is intended to be a long-term reference/ research-data document. (He also noted that neither Gahanna nor Dublin were considered as part of the research.) HRS’s organizational review determined that the Village’s structure is not the most efficient, though they feel no drastic changes are needed immediately. As people retire/transfer/are promoted, there will be ample opportunity to shift some responsibilities. [Mayor Robertson, Councilmember Crais and Councilmember Moore all requested “more specificity” for Item 3 on page 7 of the report. Councilmember Crais asked for verification that the reported recommended the timely creation of an Assistant Manager position; it does.]
Consultant David Coate noted that we now have updated job descriptions and urged Council and/or staff to schedule follow-up meetings with employees. He urged that we consider base pay levels and benefits as a “total compensation” unit. Consultant Mike Heys recommended that the employee handbook be made more user-friendly and also include an “acknowledgement statement” to be signed by employees to indicate they had read the book. Mr. Coate discussed the wage survey (Granville is slightly behind the comparative communities) and noted that the report included a recommended revised wage schedule for 2001.
He urged the Village to continue to apply or withhold step increases at 12-month intervals, based on formal performance evaluations by a supervisor. The report also recommended reducing the number of steps from 10 to 7 and suggested continued credit for prior experience when setting hiring salaries. The salary schedule should be adjusted once a year, based on the cost-of-living index; this would allow someone at the top step of a salary grade to still get a small increase. [Councilmember Moore expressed some concerns about overall sample size as well as the inclusion of data when only 1 or 2 responses were received. Mr. Coate suggested perhaps expanding the sample geographically.]
Councilmember Crais asked if HRS could pinpoint the source of the apparent frustration with the step system. Mr. Coate responded that the common concern is that there are too many steps (i.e., employees are not getting to the top as quickly as they would if there were fewer steps). Councilmember McGowan noted that Dublin and Gahanna (not included in this survey) no longer use the step system, having gone to a system of percentage increases (3-5%). He expressed concern about the long-term financial effects of, say, an 8-step scale, compounded yearly, and wondered if we could afford to put ourselves in that position. Mr. Coate responded that we only have two choices: steps or merit. The step system is non-complex and not expensive to administer, unless a step is withheld or skipped. Merit is more complex and requires complete performance appraisals. In either case, however, the intent is to move an employee through a salary range that maintains competitiveness with the external world. Granville’s salaries are now below market and our structure has not adapted to keep pace.
Councilmember Moore asked how one differentiates, in a step system, between levels of performance when everyone gets the same increase. Mr. Coate suggested either withholding or skipping a step. Manager Hickman agreed that skipping a step was a great tool but that, in general, non-performers are no longer on the Village payroll. Mr. Reed noted that cost-of-living increases tend to be the rule in most places. Also, most managers get a merit budget (e.g., 4.5%), under which they have the ability to give an outstanding performer 8% and an underachiever 2%.
Councilmember Lucier asked if HRS could suggest any organizational changes that would maximize efficiencies. Mr. Coate responded that, first and foremost, the Village needs to focus on catching up to the market—deciding which recommendations to implement, which not to implement, and then developing a plan that makes sense for the Village and the employees. Councilmember Lucier asked if, in the interim and short of making any changes, “non-useful” positions could be frozen, with no step increases; they could.
Mr. Reed reported that his overall impression, based on his discussions with Council, is that there is a desire to keep things (e.g., wages, benefits, and job descriptions) the way they are. He cautioned, though, that the employees now have an expectation that something will happen. Therefore, meetings need to be held and information conveyed, based on Council’s decisions. Manager Hickman emphasized that proper procedures need to be followed and care needs to be taken with employee morale. When asked about a timeline for implementation of the selected recommendations, he noted that this is “budget season,” so meetings need to be held quickly with the Personnel Committee, then with Council. Councilmember Lucier suggested that Manager Hickman make sure the employees know that all the recommendations, especially the proposed revisions to the 2001 salary schedule, are completely hypothetical.
PUBLIC HEARINGS (8:55pm) Ordinance No. 33-01, An Ordinance To Amend Ordinance No. 25- 00 Providing For Adjustments Of The Annual Budget For The Fiscal Year 2001 And Revising Sums For Operating Expenses, was introduced by Mayor Robertson. No one appeared to speak for or against the Ordinance. Mayor Robertson closed the Public Hearing at 8:56pm.
OLD BUSINESS Ordinance No. 33-01, An Ordinance To Amend Ordinance No. 25- 00 Providing For Adjustments Of The Annual Budget For The Fiscal Year 2001 And Revising Sums For Operating Expenses, was introduced by Councilmember Lucier. Second by Vice Mayor Wernet. A Roll Call vote yielded six (6) affirmative votes: Councilmembers Crais, Lucier, McGowan, and Moore; Vice Mayor Wernet, Mayor Robertson. Ordinance No. 33-01 is adopted.
Ordinance No. 32-01, An Ordinance To Approve The Terms Of A Real Estate Purchase Contract Relating To The Proposed Purchase Of 5.45 Acres On Columbus Road Known As The Watson Property And To Authorize The Village Manager To Execute Said Contract, was moved off the table by Vice Mayor Wernet; second by Councilmember Lucier. Motion carried. Law Director Crites noted that the title information is now complete. There are no liens against the property but a new survey was requested prior to transfer. A Roll Call vote yielded six (6) affirmative votes: Councilmembers Crais, Lucier, McGowan, and Moore; Vice Mayor Wernet, Mayor Robertson. Ordinance No. 32-01 is adopted.
JEDD – Appoint Village Representative Mayor Robertson noted that this appointment needs to be a citizen, not a member of Council, and asked Manager Hickman to advertise for the position. Council will make the appointment at the November 7th meeting. When Vice Mayor Wernet rotates off Council, a new appointment will be made to replace him.
NEW BUSINESS (9:07pm) Resolution No. 01-60, A Resolution To Award The Bid For The Purchase Of A Belt Filter Press, As Per Specifications, To Burch Hydro, Inc., And To Authorize The Village Manager To Enter Into An Agreement Therefore, was introduced by Vice Mayor Wernet. Second by Councilmember Lucier. Motion carried.
Ordinance No. 34-01, An Ordinance Authorizing The Village of Granville To Extend Sewer Services To The Granville Exempted Village School District’s New School Site And Authorizing The Village To Sell Its Surplus Utilities, was introduced by Councilmember Moore. Second by Vice Mayor Wernet. Mayor Robertson set the public hearing for November 7, 2001.
Ordinance No. 35-01, An Ordinance Providing For The Issuance Of $810,000 Of Notes By The Village Of Granville, Ohio, In Anticipation Of The Issuance Of Bonds For The Purpose Of Paying Part Of The Cost Of Refunding The Village’s Outstanding Sewer System Mortgage Revenue Refunding Bonds Dated As Of May 1, 1991, And Constructing Improvements To The Municipal Sanitary Sewer System, And Matters Related Thereto, And Declaring An Emergency, was introduced by Councilmember Moore. Second by Councilmember McGowan. Discussion: Councilmember Moore reviewed the old and new rates and noted that the original revenue bond amount will be retired by November 2003. Councilmember Lucier requested that the Finance Committee consider escalating payments with money we save on the new rates. A Roll-Call vote on the emergency provision yielded six (6) affirmative votes: Councilmembers Crais, Lucier, McGowan, and Moore; Vice Mayor Wernet and Mayor Robertson. The emergency is declared. A Roll-Call vote on Ordinance No 35- 01 yielded six (6) affirmative votes: Councilmembers Crais, Lucier, McGowan, and Moore; Vice Mayor Wernet and Mayor Robertson. Ordinance No. 35-01 is adopted.
Ordinance No. 36-01, An Ordinance To Amend Section 145.14 Of The Codified Ordinances Of The Village Of Granville, was introduced by Vice Mayor Wernet. Second by Councilmember Crais. Discussion: Responding to Vice Mayor Wernet, Law Director Crites reported that this ordinance updates the Village’s current ordinance to bring it into compliance with existing state law on this matter (ORC 5923.05). Our current ordinance does not address employees called to active duty for more than 31 days. As redrafted by Law Director Crites, the ordinance now specifies that if an employee is called to active duty for 30 days or less, he/she will receive Village salary plus military salary. If the period of active duty is 31 days or longer, the employee will receive the lesser of 1) the difference between uniform salary and Village salary, or 2) $500. (Law Director Crites noted that if the state increases the $500 amount to $650, as it might, the Village would have to do the same.) Mayor Robertson set the public hearing for November 7, 2001.
OTHER (9:24pm) Halloween: Manager Hickman reported that Beggars’ Night is Tuesday, October 30th from 5:30-7:00pm. Details of officer assignments are still being worked out. Councilmember McGowan suggested closing Granger Street, along with the side streets between Granger and Pearl. There was consensus to do so. It was also suggested that as many Denison students as possible be recruited to work Granger and the major crosswalks, including the southwest part of the Village. Councilmember McGowan will make that request at the GBPA meeting tomorrow night.
National Trust: Councilmember Crais reported receiving documents from Constance Beaumont of the National Trust, who had “reviewed” Granville. He stated she was “appalled” at the school site-selection decision and will “raise this at the highest levels in the National Trust.” She feels Granville is a good case study in the broader sense, and she will encourage the National Trust to take up the issue and perhaps help with a series of editorials in Ohio papers.
Alexandria Water Contract: Responding to Councilmember Lucier, Manager Hickman reported that the contract has been forwarded and we are awaiting a response. “Indications are favorable.”
Grant Application for S.R. 16 & Cherry Valley Road Intersection Improvements: Mayor Robertson asked if it had been filed by the September 13th deadline; it had.
Methodist Church Property Swap: Councilmember Lucier if any discussions had occurred re a property swap. Law Director Crites reported that the church had retained Rob Drake as legal counsel. A preliminary meeting has been held and Mr. Drake’s suggestions are expected. REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES (9:31pm) Regularly Schedule Meeting, October 3, 2001. The following additions/corrections were requested: 1) Councilmember Moore, p.3, “Discussion” – asked that clarifying text be added, as follows: “Councilmember Moore suggested deleting Item 5 from Section 1189.05, Free-Standing Signs for the Village Square District.” Vice Mayor Wernet moved to approve the minutes as amended; second by Councilmember McGowan. Motion carried.
MAYOR’S COURT REPORT, SEPTEMBER (9:35pm) No report was included in the packets; item moved to the November 7th agenda. MANAGER’S REPORT, SEPTEMBER (9:36pm) The Manager's Report for the month of September was presented for review. Vice Mayor Wernet moved to accept the report; second by Councilmember Crais. Motion carried. Vice Mayor Wernet directed the report be filed with the Clerk. A copy of said report is attached as part of these minutes.
COMMITTEE REPORTS (9:37pm) Economic Development Committee (Crais, Moore, Robertson) Councilmember Crais announced a public meeting with the OSU students in chambers on October 28th, 6:30-8:30pm. They will do a “charette”—a highly democratic process about design issues. Public input is hoped for.
Finance Liaison (Moore) Councilmember Moore, as discussed earlier, reported that notes had been rolled over at a good interest rate.
Newark/Granville Committee (Bellman, Robertson) No report.
Personnel Committee (McGowan) Report covered during the HRS discussion earlier in the meeting.
Planning Commission (Lucier) Councilmember Lucier conveyed the Planning Commission’s pleasure at the approval of the sign ordinance. She also noted that the Commission enthusiastically supports the St. Luke’s proposal for the Sensibilities space.
Recreation Commission (McGowan) Councilmember McGowan noted the Commission meets the first week of the month.
Street Light Committee (McGowan) Councilmember McGowan noted the need to re-form the committee to replace missing members; this will be addressed after the election. He reported that Bryn Du (and perhaps two other developments) would like to get rid of their gas streetlights and were asking who installs, maintains, and pays for new lights. Manager Hickman noted that a similar situation had arisen with Erinwood, in which the Village agreed that if the development association would put the new lights up to Village standards, the Village would take them over.
Streets/Sidewalks/Utilities Committee (Bellman, Crais, Wernet) Vice Mayor Wernet reported on discussions about the S.R. 16/Cherry Valley Road intersection, which focused on what was needed for an Issue 2 application. The Committee is trying to set Phase 1 and Phase 2 long-term priorities, as well as determine how best to use expected grant monies from the State to address short-term issues without compromising the long-term plan. (At a minimum, it is expected that the grant would fund a continuous turn lane and signal modifications.) Councilmember Crais stated that area of Granville is an important gateway to the community and the Committee wants to make it seem more like a part of the village—i.e., issues of aesthetics and function are equal priorities. Vice Mayor Wernet reported they want to involve some of the landowners in that area to ensure the planned improvements are beneficial to them as well. All emphasized that no final decisions have been made.
Tree & Landscape Committee (Moore) Councilmember Moore reported the largest attendance ever at a meeting, composed of citizens who were concerned about (and mostly opposed to) the “proposed” Broadway median. The Committee is also working on a tree ordinance (i.e., how trees are dealt with in the Village). The holiday tree will be taken down after this holiday season since it has grown too broad for its position in the median and too tall to decorate without risk. A new tree will be in place in time for next year’s holiday season.
Union Cemetery Board (Lucier) No report.
Strategic Land Acquisition Committee (Bellman, Crais, Moore) Councilmember Crais is drafting the final report. It will on the November 7th agenda.
JEDD (Kendal) No report.
Senior Citizen Committee (Robertson) Mayor Robertson reported the Committee had met earlier that morning, with Dave Bibler, Judy Stansbury, Tom Mitchell, Lisa Durham, and Trudy Knox attending. They discussed drawing up a list of the functions a building would need to serve and thought a newer building might be able to “do a little more” than Sinnett House. They want to determine what services already exist, what services are needed but don’t exist, and what we might able to do to augment what the Granville Fellowship is already doing. Council agreed to explore purchasing another place; Manager Hickman will put together a list of places on the market that might be suitable for a senior center. This committee will meet the second Thursday of each month at 8:30am (though not in November). Their next meeting is 12/13/01. Councilmember Moore suggested checking on senior-citizen centers in other communities. She also noted that Franklin County has a program that matches up seniors who still live in their homes but need some assistance with young people looking for a place to live.
Councilmember Lucier expressed concern about the lack of hard information re the Library’s intentions in all of this (i.e., we’re deep in discussions about moving Sinnett House and, perhaps, the Pyle’s house, but we haven’t seen any plans from the Library). She suggested that Council should take a more proactive role in looking at what their plans are so that we have the complete picture before we decide to move trees and/or houses, approve an addition to the museum, etc. Manager Hickman pointed out that none of the involved entities has funding yet—meaning none of this might happen. He will look into the details.
MEETING ANNOUNCEMENTS October 22, 2001 – Planning Commission (7:30pm) October 23, 2001 – Comprehensive Review Plan Committee (7:00pm) November 7, 2001 – Village Council (7:30pm)
ADJOURNMENT Councilmember Lucier moved to adjourn at 9:56pm. Second by Vice Mayor Wernet. Meeting adjourned.
Submitted by Sandy Ellinger