Granville Community Calendar

Council Minutes January 21, 2009

VILLAGE OF GRANVILLE

COUNCIL MINUTES

January 21, 2009

 

CALL TO ORDER (by Mayor Hartfield at 7:31 pm)

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

ROLL CALL

            Those responding to the roll call were Councilmembers Barsky, McGowan, O’Keefe, Vice Mayor Herman, Mayor Hartfield, Manager Holycross, and Law Director Crites.

 

Councilmember Barsky made a motion to excuse Councilmembers Mershon and Tegtmeyer.  Second by Councilmember McGowan.  Motion carried (5-0).

 

The minutes reflect that Councilmember Tegtmeyer arrived at 7:33pm.

 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Vice Mayor Herman moved to approve the agenda as presented.  Second by Councilmember McGowan.  Motion carried (5-0).   

 

CITIZENS COMMENTS (7:32 pm)

 

James Lukens, 1269 Normandy Drive, Newark, presented Council with a framed original poem by Mr. Lukens.  He presented a gift to Jim Siegel and the Village Council in recognition of Mr. Siegel’s volunteer work on the Tree & Landscape Commission as well as Council’s interest in preservation and the appreciation of trees. 

 

Jack Thornborough, 13 Donald Ross Drive, requested that Council release the confidential memo from Law Director Crites outlining Counsel’s legal opinion regarding the issue of standing.   Mr. Thornborough requested the release of the document as it would allow him and the community the opportunity to better understand why standing was not extended to all members of the community.

 

Mayor Hartfield closed the public comments portion of the meeting. (7:45pm)

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

Resolution No. 09-02, A Resolution to Express the Village’s Willingness to Accept Wastewater from Crenos Pizza, 1256 Columbus Road was introduced and moved for adoption by Councilmember Barsky.  Second by Councilmember McGowan. 

 

Discussion:

Councilmember O’Keefe asked if this resolution included restrictions regarding annexation.  Manager Holycross indicated that the resolution only indicated Council’s willingness to receive wastewater from Crenos.  Councilmember O’Keefe stated that the Village’s willingness to accept Crenos wastewater was an environmentally responsible action.

 

Councilmember Barsky asked that if an agreement were reached with Crenos, how would that agreement impact a new property owner should Crenos sell the property.  Law Director Crites indicated that an agreement would be written with Crenos, but any agreement could include restrictions on future owners.

 

Councilmember O’Keefe asked if such an agreement would come before Council for approval.  Manager Holycross indicated in the affirmative.  This resolution was only the first step in a multiple step process.

 

Vice Mayor Herman asked if staff had spoken with the owner of Crenos.  Manager Holycross indicated that staff met with the owner of Crenos in a very cordial meeting.  Staff advised the owner of Crenos that approval to tap into the Village’s wastewater system generally required annexation into the Village.  Crenos was invited to attend this meeting and offered an opportunity to provide Council any information they felt would be pertinent.

 

Vote to approve Resolution No. 09-02. Motion carried 6-0.  Resolution No. 09-02 was approved. 

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Resolution No. 09-03, A Resolution Authorizing the Village Manager and Assistant Village Manager to Execute an Agreement Between the Village of Granville and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Ohio Council 8, Representing the Full-time Service, Utility, and Maintenance Workers, and the Full-time Police Dispatchers, Which Agreement Will be Effective for the Period from January 1, 2009 Through December 31, 2011 was moved for adoption by Councilmember Barsky.  Second by Councilmember O’Keefe.

 

Mayor Hartfield acknowledged Jonathon Downes, Village legal counsel, was available for questions.  Manager Holycross asked Mr. Downes to provide an overview of the negotiations.  Mr. Downes indicated that the negotiations went smoothly and was a very professional process.  He indicated that the basis of the contract was created based on the personnel policy, including vacation, sick leave, etc.  The contract also mirrors the basic mechanics of the police contract, which will allow for ease of administration.  Mr. Downes indicated that the key issue during the negotiations was establishing a wage scale.  The Union has signed, ratified and executed the contract. 

 

Mr. Downes indicated that during the negotiations, it was clear that the employees trust the Village administration especially regarding issues involving health insurance benefits.  Mr. Downes found the policy of Village employees working multiple job positions a very unusual occurrence, especially wastewater employees covering water department employees and visa versa.  The Village also has below the national average of sick days used at 6.5 days.

Mr. Downes provided Council with examples of wage increases from comparable central Ohio municipalities.  The examples provided showed patterns of settlements from other jurisdictions.  Mr. Downes indicated that this contract, in general, provided benefits below most other jurisdictions. 

 

Overall, Mr. Downes advised Council that this contract was financially prudent for the Village.  Should Council not approve this contract, negotiations would go before binding arbitration which could produce a contract with more benefits than provided by the contract currently before Council.

 

Councilmember McGowan suggested that due to current economic conditions, Council should mandate a freeze on salaries.  He expressed concerns about the addition of step increases along with a cost of living increase.  Village employees also pay only a small portion of the cost of their health care benefits.  Municipal employees were compensated very well.  Councilmember McGowan indicated that over three years a Village employee would receive a 19.5% increase.   He indicated that step increases of 5% per year, during these tough economic times, were too much. While local residents were being laid off, not receiving increases, and some residents were facing foreclosure, Councilmember McGowan stated that salaries should be frozen.  Mr. Downes indicated that Councilmember McGowan’s observations were accurate.  However, the Ohio collective bargaining act of 1984 set in place a process that required the Village to negotiate.  He also indicated that most negotiations favor the Union.  Municipalities, which are bound by contracts, were being forced to restructure their government, which has included lay-offs.  Municipalities must weigh the economics versus staff.  The proposal presented would, if sent to arbitration, return the same or provide additional benefits and wagers. 

 

Councilmember O’Keefe asked if the percentage split for health insurance costs was a standard split.  Mr. Downes indicated that the percentage was standard.  However, unlike most other municipalities, the Village maintained control of the plan design which was a huge benefit.

 

Councilmember O’Keefe asked if the contract could be adjusted should the Village experience an economic downturn.  Mr. Downes indicated that the contract was binding for three years and the Village could not make any adjustments unilaterally.  AFESCME has been willing to come to the table and discuss potential issues.

 

Councilmember O’Keefe asked if the contract restricted the ability of Village employees to continue to work multiple positions.  Mr. Downes indicated that the Village will maintain control of job tasks. 

 

Councilmember Tegtmeyer asked if the contract in general was codifying what existed in the current personnel police.  Mr. Downes indicated in the affirmative.  The only difference was the addition of a wage scale.  Councilmember Tegtmeyer confirmed that the contact provided for a three percent cost of living increase for each year of the contract.  Mr. Downes responded in the affirmative.

 

Councilmember McGowan reiterated his concern that employees would be receiving a 19.3% increase over the next three years.  Manager Holycross indicated that not all employees would receive the 19.3% increase during the next three years.  Three employees were currently at the top of the wage scale and would only receive a cost of living increase.  Three other employees were at the second to the top step, so they would only receive one step increase.  Currently many Village employees have multiple years of service.  Many of those employees would not see annual step increases as several of the steps require an employee to remain on a step for two years before moving through that step. Manager Holycross indicated that the 19.3% increase would occur to only a small number of employees.

 

Vice Mayor Herman suggested that Council look at the contract in context to the overall budget.  He indicated that the cost for an increase in salaries and health care costs was a 6% increase.  Vice Mayor Herman asked Mr. Downes to comment on that increase.  Mr. Downes indicated that the Village was below other municipalities as far as the impact cost to a jurisdiction.  Council also needed to consider that because the Village staff multi-tasks most job positions, the cost for staffing was reduced. 

 

Manager Holycross added that part of the 2006 collective bargaining negotiations was an acknowledgement that employee salaries were lagging behind other municipalities, and that any contract negotiated would have a “catch-up” impact.  However, both the police and AFESCME contracts were negotiated to minimize the impact of those increases by requiring that the step increases cover a twelve year period versus an average five year period as shown in the information provided by Mr. Downes.

 

Councilmember O’Keefe asked how merit reviews were factored into this contract.  Mayor Hartfield indicated that merit was not a factor.  Manager Holycross indicated that the administration had the right to handle employees with poor performance.

 

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote to approve Resolution No. 09-03:  Barsky – yes; McGowan – no; O’Keefe – yes; Tegtmeyer – yes; Herman – yes; Hartfield – yes.  Resolution No. 09-03 passed 5-1.

 

Mayor Hartfield recused herself from the meeting. 

 

Resolution No. 09-04, A Resolution to Appoint a Member to the Board of Zoning and Building Appeals was introduced by Councilmember O’Keefe.  Second by Councilmember Tegtmeyer.

 

Discussion:

 

Vice Mayor Herman offered the applicants Jean Hoyt, Bradley Smith and Steven Timmons the opportunity to address the Council.

 

Bradley Smith, 332 West Elm Street, indicated that he was a three year resident of the Village.  Mr. Smith indicated that he had skills and attributes that could be beneficial to the Board of Zoning and Building Appeals.  He had previous governmental work experience, had the ability to work in small groups and understood how government bodies work.  Mr. Smith also indicated that he understood that the BZBA was a quasi-judicial board and required the board to follow Village code.  He also indicated that while he lived in Fredericksburg, Virginia, he gained an understanding of the effect of growth.  Mr. Smith indicated that as a member of the BZBA, he would work to manage that growth to the best advantage of the Village.

 

Councilmember Barsky asked Mr. Smith what issues he felt would be the most significant related to increased growth.  Mr. Smith indicated that traffic and its impact should be of concern and were often overlooked.

 

Jean Hoyt, 117 Locust Place, indicated that she was a current BZBA member.  She stated that her experience as a real estate appraiser provided a strong background for the position.  Ms. Hoyt indicated that she was willing, able and interested in continuing to serve the community as a member of the BZBA. 

 

Councilmember Barsky asked if there was a recent application that created an issue for the Commission.  Ms. Hoyt indicated that the BZBA struggled with the approval of a building east of the existing Arby’s restaurant on State Route 16. 

 

Steve Timmons, 115 East Elm Street, indicated that he was willing to serve as a member of the BZBA.  He indicated his experience as contractor who had appeared before many BZBA Commissions across the country.

 

Councilmember Tegtmeyer asked Mr. Timmons why he was interested in serving on the Commission.  Mr. Timmons indicated that he would like to bring his experience as a presenter to various BZBA Commissions to his own BZBA.  He explained that he was interested in seeing the other side of variance applications.

 

Councilmember O’Keefe asked each candidate how they perceived maintaining the small town character of Granville.  Ms Hoyt responded that it was important to preserve the existing Village.  She indicated that the Commission always tried to preserve the historic atmosphere of the Village.  Mr. Smith responded that it was important to continue to maintain a mix of architectural styles in the Village.  It was important that the Commission encourage residents to renovate or improve their homes at the same time following the zoning codes.  Mr. Timmons responded that it was important to control growth within the Village in order to maintain the Village’s small town character.

 

Councilmember Tegtmeyer asked each candidate how issues involving “green improvements” should be addressed by the Commission with regard to renovation and retrofitting historic homes.  Ms. Hoyt indicated her support for encourage green improvements; however, those issues were not typically addressed by the BZBA.  Those applications were generally handled by the Planning Commission.  However, she indicated that it was important to take into account any improvement may have on the neighbors.  Mr. Smith responded that in approaching any application, it was important to address the impact to the neighbors, while maximizing the property owner’s rights.  Mr. Timmons responded that each application had to be decided on its own merits and the requirements of the zoning code. 

 

Vice Mayor Herman stated that the Village was fortunate to have three qualified candidates.  He encouraged all three candidates to reapply for other positions that might become available.  Councilmember McGowan also expressed the qualifications of each candidate.  However, he indicated that he would support the approval of Bradley Smith.

 

Councilmember McGowan moved to appoint Bradley Smith to the Board of Building and Zoning Appeals.  Second by Councilmember Barsky. 

 

No discussion.

 

Vice Mayor Herman called for a roll call vote to appoint Bradley Smith to the BZBA.  McGowan – yes; O’Keefe – no; Tegtmeyer – yes; Barsky – no; Herman – no. The motion failed 2-3.

 

Councilmember O’Keefe moved to reappoint Jean Hoyt to the Board of Building and Zoning Appeals.  Second by Councilmember Barsky. 

 

Vice Mayor Herman called for a roll call vote to reappoint Jean Hoyt to the BZBA.  O’Keefe – yes; Tegtmeyer – yes; Barsky – yes; McGowan – yes; Herman – yes. The motion passed 5-0.

 

Vote to approve Resolution No. 09-04. Motion carried 5-0.  Resolution No. 09-04 was approved. 

 

Mayor Hartfield returned to the meeting.

 

Councilmember O’Keefe returned to the meeting.

 

Resolution No. 09-05, A Resolution to Appoint Members to the Granville Planning Commission was moved for adoption by Councilmember McGowan.  Second by Vice Mayor Herman.

 

Mayor Hartfield thanked Mr. Burriss Mr. Mitchell, Mr. McClow and Mrs. O’Keefe for their willingness to continue to serve on the Granville Planning Commission.

 

Vote to approve Resolution No. 09-05. Motion carried 5-0.  Resolution No. 09-05 was approved. 

 

Councilmember O’Keefe returned to the meeting.

 

Resolution No. 09-06, A Resolution to Appoint a Member to the Tree and Landscape Commission was moved for adoption by Councilmember McGowan.  Second by Councilmember Barsky.

 

Councilmember Barsky highly recommended the reappointment of Linda Reynolds to the Tree and Landscape Commission as she orders and plants all of the flowers throughout the Village.

 

Vote to approve Resolution No. 09-06. Motion carried 6-0.  Resolution No. 09-06 was approved. 

 

Resolution No. 09-07, A Resolution Authorizing the Village Manager to Enter into a Contract with the Licking County Board of Commissioners for Reimbursement of Legal Counsel for Indigent Defendants for the Village of Granville, Licking County, Ohio was moved for adoption by Councilmember McGowan.  Second by Councilmember Barsky.

 

Councilmember Barsky asked if this resolution was the same as the resolution passed late in 2008.  Manager Holycross indicated in the affirmative.

 

Councilmember McGowan asked if there were a number of indigent defendants.  Mayor Hartfield indicated that there were very few.

 

Vote to approve Resolution No. 09-07. Motion carried 6-0.  Resolution No. 09-07 was approved. 

 

Resolution No. 09-08, A Resolution to Appoint a Member of the Board of Trustees for the Granville Joint Recreation District was introduced by Councilmember McGowan.  Second by Councilmember Barsky.

 

Mayor Hartfield indicated that there were two applicants for this position and invited each applicant to make a comment.

 

Amanda Schneider, 121 North Plum Street, indicated that she had lived in the Village for the past three and one half years.  She has served on the Rec Commission Board for the past year and one half.  She indicated that she has also served on several Rec Commission committees.  Ms. Schneider also indicated that she was a member of the Committee that passed a levy to build a YMCA in Gahanna, Ohio.  She also indicated that she continued on to serve as a Board member of that YMCA.   Ms. Schneider indicated her interest in continuing her service as a member of the Joint Recreation District to help encourage and take advantage of the opportunities for growth.

 

Councilmember McGowan asked who would be the Rec District’s target population, school-age children, adults or seniors.  Ms. Schneider indicated that the district will serve everyone in the school district.  However, she added that the first task was to organize the Joint Recreation District and oversee the Granville Rec Commission. 

 

Vice Mayor Herman asked what Ms. Schneider anticipated as the biggest challenge and what her role would be in addressing that challenge.  Ms. Schneider indicated that the first challenge would be to bring together the three organizations represented by the Village, Township and School District.

 

Kate Barrett, 544 Mt. Parnassus, advised Council that she was raised in Granville.  Her interest in serving as a Board member was to bring together the three different areas represented to form a community that can serve all the residents. 

 

Councilmember Tegtmeyer asked what special skills or experience Ms. Barrett could provide.  Ms. Barrett indicated that she has experience working with start-up organizations and understands how new projects should best develop to move forward.

 

Vice Mayor Herman asked what Ms. Barrett anticipated as the biggest challenge and what her role would be in addressing that challenge.  Ms. Barrett indicated that formulating a strong base for the Joint Recreation District and working to pass a levy would be the first challenges.

 

Mayor Hartfield thanked all of tonight’s applicants for their willingness to commit to the Village.  Selecting one applicant over another has been difficult, as each applicant has strong qualifications.  Mayor Hartfield indicated that the Village representative on the Joint Recreation District will need a strong sense of commitment and organization to accomplish the task.  Councilmember McGowan indicated that both were excellent candidates; however, he favored Amanda Schneider as she was a current Board member.

 

Dena McKinley, 382 Bryn Du Drive, reminded Council that the candidate not selected tonight could still be selected as one of the two at-large Board members.  Those two members would be selected by the three representatives appointed by the Village, Township and School District. 

 

Councilmember Barsky moved to appoint Kate Barrett as the Village representative to the Joint Recreation District.  Second by Vice Mayor Herman.

 

Councilmember O’Keefe recused herself from the vote.

 

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote to approve Resolution 09-08 with Kate Barrett as the appointee:  Tegtmeyer – yes; Barsky – yes; McGowan – no; Herman – yes; Hartfield – yes.  Resolution 09-08 passed 4-1.

 

Councilmember O’Keefe returned to the meeting.

 

Resolution No. 09-09, A Resolution to Fill Vacancies on the Granville Arts Commission and to Change the Voting Status of the Denison Representatives was moved for adoption by Councilmember Barsky.  Second by Councilmember O’Keefe.

 

Councilmember O’Keefe indicated that voting status for the Denison representatives would be a benefit to the Commission. 

 

Councilmember Tegtmeyer asked if Council was confirming the appointees selected by the Chamber and Trustees.  Manager Holycross indicated in the affirmative.

 

Vote to approve Resolution No. 09-09. Motion carried 6-0.  Resolution No. 09-09 was approved. 

 

REVIEW OF MINUTES

 

Regularly Scheduled Meeting of January 21, 2009

 

Councilmember Barsky made a motion to approve the minutes as amended.  Second by Councilmember Tegtmeyer.  Motion carried 6-0.

 

MAYOR’S COURT REPORT – December

 

The Mayor’s Court Report for the month of December was presented for review.

 

Councilmember Barsky moved to accept the December Mayor’s Court Report.  Second by Councilmember O’Keefe.  Motion carried 6-0.

 

Mayor Hartfield instructed the report be filed with the Clerk.  A copy of the report will be included as part of these minutes. 

 

 

MANAGER’S REPORT – December

 

The Manager’s Report for the month of December was presented for review.            

  

Councilmember McGowan asked about the decrease in the number of parking tickets and traffic citations.  Manager Holycross indicated that the department was still an officer short and the inclement weather was a factor.  Mayor Hartfield indicated that the number of cases in Mayor’s Court was still constant.

 

Vice Mayor Herman asked about the discrepancy in the numbers reflecting the total income tax revenue dollars.  Manager Holycross indicated that one number reflected that actual dollars received, while the other number was the projected revenues.

 

Councilmember Barsky moved to accept the December Monthly Manager’s Report   Second by Councilmember Tegtmeyer.  Motion carried 6-0.

 

Mayor Hartfield instructed the report be filed with the Clerk.  A copy of said report will be included as part of these minutes

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS   

 

Economic, Finance, Personnel Committee (EFP) – (Hartfield, Herman, Tegtmeyer) 

Mayor Hartfield indicated that the EFP Committee would be meeting on February 2nd at 7:00am

 

Granville Foundation – (Tegtmeyer)

Councilmember Tegtmeyer reported that the Foundation would be holding a welcoming gathering on February 1st for the three new Board members.  Grant applications were to be reviewed by the Committee on February 7th to complete the Manager’s review and update the Council’s goals & objectives.

 

Light, Safety, Sts/Sidewalks, Utility Committee (LSSU) – (Herman, McGowan, O’Keefe)

No Report.

 

Planning Commission – (O’Keefe)

Councilmember O’Keefe reported that all applications were approved, including the change of use for the old Bennett’s Goodyear site.  The building will now be used as a design shop.  The GPC did give a variance for the exterior pole sign.  The applicant intended to use the existing pole, but replace the square sign frame with an oval sign.  The Planning Commission also reviewed the updated flood hazard ordinance.  The Commission questioned the need to increase the flood height to three feet above FEMA’s recommendation.  The Commission asked Planner Terry to research the need for the additional three foot requirement.

 

Planning & Zoning Committee – (Barsky, Hartfield, O’Keefe)

No Report. 

 

Recreation Commission – (McGowan)

No Report.

 

Tree & Landscape Commission (Barsky)

Councilmember Barsky reported that the Committee selected Don Hostetter as the new chair.  Jim Siegel indicated that he would be helping Mr. Hostetter. The Commission was preparing for tree planting and for the upcoming Arbor Day celebration.  AEP will be providing a tree to plant at the Intermediate School.  The Commission discussed being especially financially judicious with their funding this year.

 

Union Cemetery (Mershon)

No report.

 

OTHER COUNCIL MATTERS

 

Councilmember Tegtmeyer questioned a letter Council received in the past month regarding a deadline from Time Warner to maintain access to a public access channel.  Manager Holycross indicated that he would review the information, but believed that State law superseded Time Warner’s ability to limit a municipality’s access to a public cable station channel.  Councilmember McGowan suggested that the school district, Village and Denison could share access to such a channel.

 

Councilmember O’Keefe asked Manager Holycross if any additional information was available regarding the Voice Core service, cable access for visually impaired individuals.  Manager Holycross indicated that he had not received a response to date.

 

Councilmember O’Keefe reported on a lecture she attended as part of the Bryn Du lecture series.  The lecture was entitled Simply Living.  The topic focused on sustainable communities citing Worthington as an example with their Winter Farmer’s Market, rain gardens and encouragement of LED lighting.  Councilmember O’Keefe indicated that the lecturer would be willing to speak to Council about these various topics including conservation projects that could be included as part of the Comprehensive Plan.

 

ADJOURNMENT (9:43pm)

 

Councilmember McGowan moved to adjourn the meeting.  Second by Councilmember Tegtmeyer.  Motion carried 6-0.  Meeting adjourned.

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