CITY OF RIVER FALLS: 1/24/12 COMMON COUNCIL PROCEEDINGSJanuary 24, 2012 Mayor Don Richards called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers located in City Hall.
January 24, 2012
Mayor Don Richards called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers located in City Hall.
City Council Members Present: Tom Caflisch, David Cronk, Bob Hughes, Randy Kusilek, Scott Morrissette, Jim Nordgren, David Reese
City Council Members Absent: None
Staff Present: Bill Thiel, City Attorney; Scot Simpson, City Administrator; Carl Gaulke, Utility General Manager; Roger Leque, Police Chief; Lu Ann Hecht, City Clerk; Julie Bergstrom, Finance Director/Assistant City Administrator; Rhonda Davison, Lead Customer Service Representative
Others Present: Michael Stifter, Chris Gagne, George LaFave, others
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
January 10, 2012, Regular Meeting Minutes
MSC Morrissette/Kusilek move to approve minutes as submitted. Unanimous.
APPROVAL OF BILLS:
City Bills $4,825,264.79
MSC Nordgren/Morrissette move to approve the bills subject to the comptroller. Unanimous.
PUBLIC COMMENT, PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS:
State of the City Presentation
Due to the microphones not functioning in the Council Chamber, Reese made a motion to defer the State of the City presentation until the February 14 meeting. Morrissette seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
City Administrator Simpson suggested that Council change the order of the agenda due to the published times of the public hearings.
Acknowledgement of the following minutes:
Police and Fire Commission – 12/5/11; Ambulance Commission – 12/5/11
Fire Department – 12/5/11; Utility Commission – 11/21/11; 12/19/11 regular meeting and workshop;
Joint Historic Preservation Commission and Park Board – 12/21/11;
Design Review Committee – 5/9/11; Park and Recreation Advisory Board – 12/21/11
Resolution No. 5554 - Approving Use of Paper (hand counted) Ballots at February 21, 2012, Primary
Resolution Approving Request for City Assistance for River Falls Car Show((Pulled by Kusilek
MSC Caflisch/Nordgren move to approve remainder of Consent Agenda. Unanimous.
Resolution No. 5555 - Approving Request for City Assistance for River Falls Car Show
Kusilek commented that last year’s event went very well. He wanted to publicly thank George LaFave for his efforts. MS Kusilek/Cronk move to approve resolution. Morrissette asked if someone has talked with Nash Finch. LaFave said he will be meeting with Nash Finch and taking care of any concerns they have.
The motion passed unanimously.
City Administrator’s Report
ICMA LGMF Progress Report
BOARD OF APPEALS
Reappointment of Morris Marsolek through October 2014
Reappointment of Gary Horvath through October 2014
PARK AND RECREATION BOARD
New appointment of Brandon Dobbertin through January 2015
MSC Nordgren/Cronk move to approve the Mayor’s appointments. Unanimous.
Mayor’s Proclamation for River Falls Reads
The Mayor read the proclamation.
MSC Caflisch/Morrissette move to recess the meeting at 6:40 p.m. for five minutes.
After five minutes, the Mayor reconvened the meeting.
Ordinance 2012-01 – Ordinance to Amend Chapter 2.64 of the City Code--Creation of Utility Board – Second Reading and Disposition
Mayor Richards recessed Council at 6:45 p.m. and went into a public hearing. At 6:46 p.m. with no one wishing to speak for or against this issue, Council reconvened into Open Session for disposition. MS Cronk/Morrissette move to approve ordinance.
Hughes felt in light of the technical difficulties and the fact people couldn’t hear the discussion, Hughes moved to table the ordinance until the next meeting. The motion died due to a lack of a second.
Hughes felt there was a discrepancy on where the authority between the Utility Commission and the City Council lies. He said as soon as those things were clarified by the City Attorney, Council was presented with a workshop to move forward with creating a Utility Board rather than a Commission. He felt the action was preemptive and that there was a lot of miscommunication. He was disappointed in proceeding with this but felt that with the City Council being over everything now, it may solve the perception of the City pushing off costs onto the Utility to keep taxes low.
Hughes said he was going to vote to approve the ordinance but pointed out that people serving on the Utility Commission are valued members. He hopes this doesn’t deter people from serving in the future. Their opinions are highly valued and the City Council depends on them. Hughes said they are experts in this area.
Nordgren agreed that Utility Commission members are very valuable, and they should remain valuable as a board. He is looking for efficiencies to reduce costs overall and it should not eliminate any expertise. He is hoping for efficiencies that we do not have now and the expertise is on the Utility Commission will still be needed.
Caflisch noted Hughes’ comment about the City taking funds from the Utility to keep taxes lower is illegal, can’t be done, and has never been a point of discussion.
With no further discussion, the Mayor called for a vote. The ordinance passed unanimously.
Ordinance 2012-02 – Ordinance Authorizing Fire Chief to Initiate Burn Ban – Second Reading and Disposition
Mayor Richards recessed Council at 6:52 p.m. and went into a public hearing. At 6:53 p.m. with no one wishing to speak for or against this issue, Council reconvened into Open Session for disposition. MSC Morrissette/Nordgren move to approve ordinance. Unanimous.
Motion by Cronk to adjourn meeting at 6:53 p.m.
Kristi McKahan, Deputy City Clerk