Granville Community Calendar

Council Minutes May 20, 2009

VILLAGE OF GRANVILLE

COUNCIL MINUTES

May 20, 2009

 

CALL TO ORDER (by Mayor Hartfield at 7:32pm)

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

ROLL CALL

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

 

Councilmember Barsky made a motion to excuse Councilmember McGowan.  Second by Vice Mayor Herman.  Motion carried (6-0).

 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Councilmember O’Keefe moved to approve the agenda as presented.  Second by Councilmember Barsky.  Motion carried (6-0).   

 

CITIZEN COMMENTS (7:33 pm)

 

Ben Rader, 130 West Broadway, spoke in support of Ordinance No. 07-09, the income tax reduction.  Mr. Rader indicated that he supported providing Village residents with two years of tax relief and especially supported the inclusion of the “sunset” clause.  He asked Council to support the Ordinance to allow local citizens to keep their money. 

 

Mr. Rader also advised Council that he was not support of providing a no interest loan for the Bluesfest.  He suggested that any loan the Village would provide to a non-profit should be a bankable loan.  If an individual from the organization was unwilling to sign for a personal loan, then no loan.  Mr. Rader also supported making non-profits fundraise for any grant money, with the Village providing last dollar, matching funds.  Without the non-profit providing matching funds, the Village should not provide any grant funding.

 

APPEAL HEARING

 

Mayor Hartfield called the standing appeal hearing for Holly Simons regarding Granville Planning Commission hearing on April 13, 2009 for application #09-03 to order. 

 

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call.  Those responding to the roll call for the appeal hearing were Councilmembers Barsky, Mershon, O’Keefe, Tegtmeyer, Vice Mayor Herman, and Mayor Hartfield.

 

Those wishing to speak during the hearing were sworn in.  Please note an official transcript of May 20, 2009 Appeal Hearing for Holly Simons will be attached to the final draft of the minutes. 

 

Mayor Hartfield closed the evidence portion of the hearing at 8:10pm.  Law Director Crites noted that pursuant to section 1137.01(j) of the Codified Ordinances of Granville, Council may affirm, reverse, revoke, modify, or remand for further proceedings the decision.  He suggested that Council may elect to make a decision rather than remand the appeal back to the Planning Commission.

 

Councilmember Mershon moved to deny the appeal and affirm the Granville Planning Commission decision.  Second by Councilmember O’Keefe.  Roll call vote to deny the standing appeal of Holly Simons: Barsky (yes), Mershon (yes), O’Keefe (yes), Tegtmeyer (no), Herman (yes), Hartfield (yes).  Motion carried 5-1.  Mayor Hartfield announced that Holly Simons appeal for standing relevant to application #09-03 was denied. 

 

Mayor Hartfield called the regular Council meeting back to order at 8:22pm.

 

PUBLIC HEARING

 

 Ordinance No. 06-09, An Ordinance to Amend Ordinance No. 17-08 to Provide 

       for Adjustments of the Annual Budget for Fiscal Year 2009 and to Revise Sums 

       for Operating Expenses

 

 Ordinance No. 07-09, An Ordinance to Amend the Municipal Income Tax Rate

     for the Village of Granville for a Limited Time, by Modifying the Language of

     Section 171.03 and 171.10 of the Codified Ordinances of Granville 

 

As no one appeared to speak, Mayor Hartfield closed the public hearing at 8:24pm

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

Vice Mayor Herman and Councilmember O’Keefe recused themselves from the meeting.

 

 Ordinance No. 06-09, An Ordinance to Amend Ordinance No. 17-08 to Provide 

       for Adjustments of the Annual Budget for Fiscal Year 2009 and to Revise Sums 

       for Operating Expenses

 

Discussion:

Councilmember Barsky questioned if Council’s expectation, regarding Robbins Hunter matching funds, was for Robbins Hunter to fundraise new monies or could they use current funding as the match.  She suggested changing the wording from raising to matching.  Manager Holycross indicated that staff questioned the language in order to clarify Council’s intent.  Councilmember Mershon indicated that he supported the suggestion made by Vice Mayor Herman during the last Council meeting based on Robbins Hunter using monies allocated by the Village as an incentive to raise funds.  The Village dollars would be the last dollar-in.  Councilmember Mershon indicated that he was not in support of providing Robbins Hunter with funding and compromised a matching / last dollar-in suggestion.  Village staff spent time trying to find funds and the legal authority to give money away.  Councilmember Mershon indicated that he was not in favor of changing the language to undercut the current purpose and intent of the grant and, while it may be legal to provide the funding, felt it was not a good policy decision.  Councilmember Tegtmeyer indicated that she looked at the grant as a question of cash flow.  Funding would still need to be raised even if existing funds were used to purchase the equipment now.  Councilmember Tegtmeyer indicated that she would be in support of attaching the fewest strings.  She indicated that she did not see much of a difference.  Mayor Hartfield stated that the parameters placed on the funding dollars allocated to Robbins Hunter were unfair and unequal when compared to the parameters of other recipients.  She indicated that the language was a matter of intention. Councilmember Barsky agreed. 

 

Councilmember Barsky moved to change the language in the section regarding the Robbins Hunter Museum from raising to matching.  Second by Councilmember Tegtmeyer. 

 

Mayor Hartfield called for a vote to approve the motion. Motion carried (3-1). 

 

Mayor Hartfield asked who would sign for the loan being provided to the Federation for the Appreciation of the Blues.  Law Director Crites indicated that a corporate officer would have the authority to sign for the loan.  Councilmember Mershon indicated that during the last meeting, he addressed that issue.  As the organization was a 501(c) 3 corporation, the Village would be taking a risk in providing the funds that there might not be assets to collect if all of the proceeds were spent.  He indicated that the Village policy required a corporate borrower to be held liable. Mr. Rader suggested requiring an additional person to guarantee any loan.  Mayor Hartfield added that each organization was required to account for all income and expenses as a method of accountability as outlined in the policy.  Councilmember Tegtmeyer asked if each grantee would be signing a contract that outlined the terms of any agreement.  Manager Holycross answered in the affirmative.  Councilmember Barsky asked if additional clarification was needed regarding funding the Bluesfest.  Mayor Hartfield indicated that a good, clear contract would address accountability.  Manager Holycross indicated that the previous resolution outlined those particulars.

 

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote on the amended Ordinance No. 06-09: Tegtmeyer – yes; Barsky – yes; Mershon – no; Hartfield – yes. Ordinance No. 06-09 failed 3-1.  An ordinance must be passed with an affirmative vote of four members of Council.

 

Councilmember Mershon suggested that four separate ordinances could be introduced at the next Council meeting.  He indicated that he was disappointed that Council would try to take action with less than a majority of Council. 

 

Vice Mayor Herman and Councilmember O’Keefe returned to the meeting.

 

Ordinance No. 07-09, An Ordinance to Amend the Municipal Income Tax Rate for the Village of Granville for a Limited Time, by Modifying the Language of Section 171.03 and 171.10 for the Codified Ordinances of Granville was moved for approval by Councilmember Barsky.  Second by Councilmember Mershon.

Discussion:

 

Councilmember Barsky indicated that in would be inappropriate for Council to consider providing a repeal of a portion of the income tax during the current economy.  She indicated that it would not be prudent for the Village to lose that portion of the funding and potential difficulties in returning to the original rate.  Councilmember Barsky felt with the current economy and the general sense of most residents that to reduce the income tax at this time was not needed.

 

Councilmember O’Keefe expressed concern regarding the Village’s ability to fund infrastructure improvements to the River Road area should it annex into the Village.  Manager Holycross indicated that should that annexation take place, the Village would need to make cuts in other capital improvements.

 

Councilmember O’Keefe asked about the impact of impending salary increases.  Manager Holycross indicated that salary increases were locked in for the service, water and sewer departments through 2011 due to a three year contract.  The police department contract was also up for renewal this year and may seek an additional multi-year contract.

 

Vice Mayor Herman asked about the Village’s bond rating.  Assistant Manager Roberts indicated that the Village was not rated.  As the Village had been successful in seeking financing, the steps and expense were never taken to be rated.  Vice Mayor Herman asked what generally happened to interest rates when a community’s revenues were reduced.  Assistant Manager Roberts indicated that purchasers look at fund balances when reviewing a municipality’s financial assets, which could cause interest rates to be higher. 

 

Councilmember O’Keefe asked the amount of income that would be lost with this rate reduction.  Manager Holycross indicated an estimated $280,000 per year, $560,000 over two years.  A person earning $80,000 per year would save $120 per year if they worked and lived in the Village.  Mayor Hartfield indicated that the savings would amount to $2 per week.  Residents would not be receiving a substantial savings. 

 

Mayor Hartfield indicated that in reviewing the Village’s five year projections, she was concerned about Village revenues for years three, four and five.   The Village should be concerned that revenue income could still decrease over the next several years based on current trends.  Mayor Hartfield stated that any perceived surplus should be viewed as potential savings and staff’s ability to manage Village funds conservatively and responsibly.  She questioned why the Village would want to potentially risk our current good financial position. 

 

Councilmember Mershon indicated that it was morally wrong for a government to take monies it did not need.  It was morally wrong for a government to take more money from citizens than it needs to provide the services agreed to be provided.  He indicated that the Village general revenue fund had grown twenty-five percent over the past two years.   Councilmember Mershon indicated that Mayor Hartfield’s committee developed a standard for the general fund to maintain a $500,000 to $600,000 balance.  He indicated that the general fund balance was three times that amount currently.  He suggested there was inconsistency regarding the fund balance issues.  Councilmember Mershon suggested that the general fund balance would probably grow again in 2009.  He added that the Village income tax revenue during the past two years had increased by about five percent each year.  The income tax revenue for 2009 was also slightly increased.  He indicated that the property tax revenue was also up four percent each year.  Councilmember Mershon indicated that the flush general fund budget had allowed Village Council the ability to not be careful in its spending.  The Council did not have to make spending choices.  The Village Council should be focusing on the core mission and services, and funding those items.  Councilmember Mershon stated that Vice Mayor Herman suggested several years ago that the Village utilize a zero base budget.  He indicated that Vice Mayor Herman’s proposal was ignored in favor of adding three or four percent to the yearly numbers.  He further indicated that Council did not examine or justify its spending.  Councilmember Mershon cited the three members, who were willing to spend money on non-profits, as an example. 

 

Councilmember Mershon indicated that this initiative was resident driven.  He indicated that a number of residents and business owners voiced an opinion that the tax rate was too high.  Councilmember Mershon indicated that he agreed with their opinion.   He indicated that this initiative would reduce income tax collections by ten percent, or seven percent of the total general fund revenues, and still be within the financial guidelines.

 

Councilmember Mershon indicated that his projections were based on the numbers provided in Manager Holycross’ five year projections.  Councilmember Mershon pointed out that Manager Holycross projected income tax collection at a rate of two to two and one half percent over the next five years versus the five percent that it increased the past two years.  The property tax collection rate was projected at one percent versus three point nine percent.  Councilmember Mershon stated that in looking at salary expenses, Manager Holycross used existing contract projections through 2011, but increased salary percentage projections after 2011 at a rate of five to six point eight percent, inflating Village expenses.  Councilmember Mershon described Village projections as being “ginned-up” to show a flush general fund with little increase in revenue and an increase in expenses projecting into the future.  He indicated that staff projections were conservative. 

 

Councilmember Mershon indicated that if the Village would need additional funding, any Village Council, now or in the future, should not feel ashamed to seek additional funding from the public to provide necessary services.  The two percent sunset provision included in the legislation was added as a clever way to make people feel comfortable.  Future Councils and citizens, should the funding be necessary, would need to raise funds for services.  The two year period gave Council an opportunity to review expenditures and service activities to determine which services the Village should be providing. 

 

Councilmember Mershon suggested that for residents working in the Village and living outside the Village, most individuals would receive the reduction, with the exception of individuals who live in Columbus, Newark and Urbancrest. 

 

Councilmember Mershon summarized that governments should not tax residents for more than they need to provide the services the residents want.  He suggested that during the next two years with the reduced tax rate, there would be no change in services or expenses, and the ability to maintain the minimum financial guideline balance would be accomplished.  Councilmember Mershon stated that the initiative to reduce the income tax was not a complaint that Village services and workers were not doing a good job, but a complaint that more government may exist than needed and that services could be provided more efficiently.

 

Councilmember O’Keefe stated that she felt it was moral to conserve and preserve funding as the five year projections showed a reduction in the general fund balance after 2011 below the $500,000 minimum. 

 

Mayor Hartfield suggested that the issue was not one of immorality, but a philosophical difference.  Councilmember Mershon indicated that he wanted it to be clear that the issue was taking money that was not needed.  The government could bully the money from individuals.  Mayor Hartfield questioned Councilmember Mershon’s representation and framing of issues and facts regarding the comments and opinions of other individuals, staff, the EFP Committee, and agreed to disagree. 

 

Vice Mayor Herman called the question.  Second by Councilmember Barsky.

 

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote on calling the question: Barsky – yes; Mershon – no; O’Keefe – yes; Tegtmeyer – yes; Herman – yes; Hartfield – yes.  Passed 5-1 to halt the discussion.

 

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote on Ordinance No. 07-09: Mershon – yes; O’Keefe – no; Tegtmeyer – no; Barsky – no; Herman – no; Hartfield – no. Ordinance No. 07-09 failed 1-5.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Resolution No. 09-32, A Resolution to Appoint a Member to the Granville Planning Commission was moved for approval by Councilmember Barsky.  Second by Vice Mayor Herman.

 

Discussion:

Mayor Hartfield invited each applicant to make a statement.  She indicated that there were three applicants for this position.

 

Jim Brooks, 228 East Broadway, indicated that he has lived in the Village one and one half years and had appeared before the Planning Commission on several occasions.  He indicated that he was a local realtor and had been part of the building industry.  He was interested in serving on the Commission in order to help maintain the general character of the Village.

 

Councilmember Barsky asked Mr. Brooks about his philosophy toward growth.  Mr. Brooks responded that he was supportive of planned growth, but there was a need for oversight. 

 

Vice Mayor Herman asked what were Mr. Brooks’ guides for evaluating planned growth.  Mr. Brooks indicated that it was necessary to be proactive as well as look at a variety of positions.

 

Councilmember Tegtmeyer asked if Mr. Brooks had been part of any governmental or other types of organizational committees.  Mr. Brooks indicated that he had participated on Safety Councils in the past.

 

Councilmember O’Keefe asked how Mr. Brooks characterized Granville.  Mr. Brooks indicated that the Village was charming, quaint and well kept.  The Village welcomed visitors and encouraged them to return.

 

Councilmember Barsky asked why Mr. Brooks had not completed the portion of the application regarding the best and worst planning decisions.  Mr. Brooks indicated that he felt he did not have enough information to make an informed opinion.

 

Jeremy Johnson, 2613 Newark-Granville Road, indicated that he had lived in the Village for three and one half years.  He grew up in a rural community in eastern Ohio and had dreamed of moving to Granville.  He stated that his background was in construction and planning.  He indicated that he did not have any agenda, but wanted to become involved in the local community to maintain and bring improvements to the Village.

 

Vice Mayor Herman questioned Mr. Johnson about his application comment regarding a greater emphasis on business development.  Mr. Johnson explained that he would like to see encouragement for the right type of businesses to move the Village that complimented professional business growth.  Vice Mayor Herman asked Mr. Johnson’s opinion regarding drive-throughs.  Mr. Johnson indicated that drive-throughs have a place, but not in the downtown Village area.

 

Councilmember O’Keefe asked Mr. Johnson what he saw as his role as a Commissioner.  Mr. Johnson stated that as Commissioner, he would review applications and make decisions based on the Village Code.

 

Councilmember Tegtmeyer asked if Mr. Johnson had been part of any governmental or other types of organizational committees.  Mr. Johnson indicated that he had not participated on any committees in a public capacity.

 

Vice Mayor Herman nominated Tym Tyler as Council’s appointment to the Planning Commission.  Second by Councilmember O’Keefe.

 

Vice Mayor Herman indicated that Mr. Tyler’s four years of previous experience as a member of the Planning Commission and BZBA provided the expertise that would make him an appropriate choice.  He indicated that Mr. Tyler should be given another opportunity.  Councilmember Barsky indicated that she would like to consider bringing someone new onto the Commission in order to gain experience.

 

Vote to approve Resolution No. 09-32 nominating Tym Tyler. Motion failed (2-3). 

 

Councilmember Barsky moved to nominated Jeremy Johnson as Council’s appointment to the Planning Commission.  Second by Councilmember Tegtmeyer.

 

Vote to approve Resolution No. 09-32 nominating Jeremy Johnson. Motion carried (6-0).  Resolution No. 09-32 was adopted.

 

Mayor Hartfield explained that a second position was open on the Planning Commission.  Lyle McClow, the Granville School District’s appointee, had resigned.  The applicants not selected would be forwarded to the School Board for their consideration.

 

Resolution No. 09-33, A Resolution to Express Appreciation to Gina Reeves for Service on the Granville Planning Commission was moved for approval by Councilmember O’Keefe.  Second by Councilmember Barsky.

 

Discussion:

 

Councilmember O’Keefe advised Council that Mrs. Reeves’ had done a wonderful job while on the Planning Commission.

 

Vote to approve Resolution No. 09-33. Motion carried (6-0).  Resolution No. 09-33 was adopted.

 

Resolution No. 09-34, A Resolution Authorizing the Village Manager to Prepare and Submit an Application to participate in the Ohio Public Works Commission State Capital Improvement Program and to Execute Contracts as Required  was moved for approval by Councilmember Barsky.  Second by Councilmember O’Keefe.

 

Discussion:

 

Councilmember Tegtmeyer questioned specific language in the resolution.  Manager Holycross indicated that the specific language was required. 

 

Councilmember Tegtmeyer asked the anticipated cost for the project.  Assistant Manager Roberts indicated that the project cost was estimated at $270,000 with the State paying 80% of the cost.  These funds were being made available as a result of stimulus funding.  All funding requests must be used for road or bridge projects only.  Councilmember O’Keefe asked if Denison would be billed for any damage to College Street from the Cleveland Hall construction.  Assistant Manager Roberts indicated that the College Street renovation project was scheduled and necessary prior to the Cleveland Hall renovation project. The Village postponed the College Street project until the completion of Cleveland Hall.  Denison University would not be responsible for any repairs to College Street. 

 

Vote to approve Resolution No. 09-34. Motion carried (6-0).  Resolution No. 09-34 was adopted.

 

Ordinance No. 08-09, A n Ordinance to Revise the Codified Ordinances by Adopting Current Replacement Page was introduced and slated for a public hearing on June 3, 2009 by Councilmember Barsky .  Second by Councilmember O’Keefe.

 

Mayor Hartfield scheduled a public hearing for Ordinance No. 08-09 for June 3, 2009.

 

REVIEW OF MINUTES

 

Regularly Scheduled Meeting of May 6, 2009

 

Councilmember Mershon made a motion to approve the May 6, 2009 minutes.  Second by Councilmember O’Keefe.  Motion carried 6-0.

 

MAYOR’S COURT REPORT – April

 

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

 

Councilmember Mershon moved to accept the April Mayor’s Court Report.  Second by Vice Mayor Herman.  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 – April

 

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

  

Councilmember Mershon questioned why patrol hours had decreased by one third from 2008.  Manager Holycross indicated that he thought the numbers were down 10 to 15%, but would check with Chief Mason.

 

Councilmember Barsky asked that communication between the dispatchers and officers be improved regarding relaying information about the house check process.  She explained that she encountered an officer checking her home two hours after advising the police department of her return. 

 

Councilmember Tegtmeyer asked why there was such a slow response to 911 calls outside Village jurisdiction.  Councilmember Tegtmeyer explained that she stopped to help at an accident scene and witnessed the number of calls needed to 911 prior to emergency responders arriving on the scene.  She wanted to know if the issue was information provided by the callers, the 911 dispatch system, or the emergency responders.  Manager Holycross asked Councilmember Tegtmeyer if she could provide the date and time of the incident and he would look into the issue.

 

Councilmember Barsky moved to accept the April Monthly Manager’s Report   Second by Vice Mayor Herman.  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) 

No report.

 

Granville Foundation – (Tegtmeyer)

No report.

 

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

Manager Holycross indicated that the Committee had tentatively scheduled a meeting for June 10, 2009.  A time had yet to be set.

 

Planning Commission – (O’Keefe)

Councilmember O’Keefe reported that she was unable to attend the last Planning Commission meeting, but a copy of the minutes were included in Council’s packet.

 

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

No report.

 

Recreation Commission – (McGowan)

No report.

 

Tree & Landscape Commission (Barsky)

Councilmember Barsky reported that the service department was in the process of fertilizing the trees along Broadway.   She also read a proclamation indentifying the week of May 18th as Emerald Ash Borer Week.  Councilmember Barsky advised that Village flower planting would begin after Memorial Day.  Linda Reynolds, a member of the Tree and Landscape Commission, oversees and completes that task.  Councilmember Tegtmeyer expressed appreciation for the Commission’s work.

 

Councilmember Mershon advised that the wrapping on the trees along East Newark-Granville Road was a popular topic of discussion during the Antiques & Gardening at Bryn Du show this past weekend.  People were uncertain as to the purpose of the wrapping used to prevent gypsy moths.  He asked that Village staff place that information on the Village website. 

 

Union Cemetery (Mershon)

 

Councilmember Mershon reported that during the summer work project at the Old Colony Burial Ground, a metal gate and fence would be restored and returned to its original location around a family plot dating from the turn of the twentieth century.

 

OTHER COUNCIL MATTERS

 

Councilmember Mershon asked the status of the pathway repaving project along the eastern side of Jones Road.  Manager Holycross indicated that Service Director Hopkins was soliciting quotes for the project.

 

Councilmember Mershon asked the progress of moving toward a single trash hauler.  Manager Holycross indicated that the LSSU Committee would be reviewing that issue at their next meeting.

 

Mayor Hartfield asked about the information provided from LCATS regarding the location based response system project that was underway.  Manager Holycross indicated that the Village would be available to provide any assistance needed.  Councilmember Barsky encouraged that information regarding the project be forwarded to local media outlets. 

 

Councilmember Tegtmeyer asked Council of their intent to participate in the upcoming Memorial Day parade.  Mayor Hartfield indicated that she would be attending.  She advised that the breakfast event began at 9:15am at St. Lukes with the parade stepping off at 10:40am and the service beginning at 11:00am in the Maple Grove Cemetery.

 

ADJOURNMENT (9:53pm)

 

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

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