EASTLAKE CITY COUNCIL
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
FEBRUARY 10, 2015
The Regular Meeting of the Eastlake City Council was held at Eastlake City Hall, 35150 Lakeshore Boulevard. The Meeting was called to order by Council President
Mr. D’Ambrosio at approximately 7:01 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Members of Council in attendance were Mr. Licht, Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins, Mr. Hoefle,
Mr. Evers, Ms. DePledge, Ms. Vaughn and Council President Mr. D’Ambrosio.
Those attending from the Administration were Mayor Morley, Law Director Klammer, Finance Director Slocum, Service Director Rubertino, City Engineer Gwydir, and Fire Chief Whittington. Police Chief Reik and CBO Menn were absent and excused.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Regular Council Meeting– January 27, 2015
MOTION: Mr. Licht moved to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 27, 2015. Ms. DePledge seconded.
ROLL CALL: Yeas unanimous.
Motion carried. The minutes were approved.
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COUNCIL PRESIDENT’S REPORT – Mr. D’Ambrosio
Mr. D’Ambrosio: The Blvd. of 500 Flags will be having its fundraiser Friday, April 24th. Tickets are $35 each and it will be at the Patrician Party Center. It is a fantastic event. We used to have it at the Willowick Post but we outgrew that facility. It seems to grow every year. You can contact me or Mr. Rydzinski if you want tickets. We also have flyers that will be available.
The next Council-as-a-Whole Committee Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. The Regular Council meeting will be convened immediately following the adjournment of the Council-as-a-Whole Committee meeting.
COMMUNICATIONS & PETITIONS
There were no communications and petitions.
Mr. D’Ambrosio: A City of Eastlake and City of Willoughby Joint Safety Committee meeting was held:
SAFETY COMMITTEE – Mr. Hoefle, Chair
Mr. Hoefle: The Safety Committee met Wednesday, February 4th – it was a Joint Safety Committee meeting with the City of Eastlake and the City of Willoughby. We had discussion regarding the shared usage of the Eastlake Fire Department’s ladder truck. Willoughby’s truck currently has an 8” crack in it and they cannot use it. Chief Whittington brought this to the attention of Willoughby’s Chief and spearheaded the discussion with the Mayors. The consensus of the meeting was they will work on a Memorandum of Understanding for the communities with Willoughby housing our truck and providing service to Eastlake should we need use of the truck. Once the Mayors, Law Directors and Chiefs provide the Memorandum of Understanding it looks like it will be approved. This concludes my report.
There were no questions of Mr. Hoefle.
FINANCE COMMITTEE – Ms. Vaughn, Chair
Ms. Vaughn: I would like to schedule a Finance Committee meeting for next Tuesday, February 17th at 6:00 p.m. here at City Hall. We will begin the process of getting reading for the 2015 budget. We will be focusing on revenue, correct, Mr. Slocum?
Mr. Slocum: Yes. I will be distributing by Thursday the Administration’s first draft of the budget. I would like to review the revenue projections next Tuesday – both in the General Fund and all the other funds. Then we will probably need a separate meeting to go over the General Fund expenditures and any other fund expenditures.
Ms. Vaughn: I had anticipated a total of 3 meetings – this initial one for revenue, one for discussion on the overall budget and the funds and possibly a meeting with the Directors for a final discussion as it has to be passed by the end of March.
Mr. Slocum: Once you receive your budget you do not have to wait for the Committee meetings – you can always give me a call.
Ms. Vaughn: Everyone should have plenty of time to review the budget very carefully.
Ms. DePledge: As a member of the Finance Committee I would like to put on the record that these budget meetings are going to be very critical for our City and participation from members of our community would be incredibly important. Just looking at the monthly financial report which I just received this evening – it shows almost a $92,000 deficit in our General Fund. That is how we are ending January. So, if anyone has any suggestions for potential ways for us to generate revenue as our expenses are very controlled and limited. If anyone wants to participate we would encourage everyone to do so.
Mr. Slocum: Some of the 90 some thousand that we are over encumbered we make on several different accounts. The one that comes to mind is jail laundry and meals – we make one P.O. a year. So, a lot of the fund is over encumbered. It could be misleading. I would not worry too much right now with that. Regarding the budget if you have any alternatives as to what we can do differently – this is the time we can explore what else we can do. If you have ideas I would appreciate giving me a heads up because I would be more than happy to cost it out to make sure we are taking everything into account.
Mr. Evers: Have we heard anything more on the audit?
Mr. Slocum: I did talk with the gentleman from the auditor’s office today. He does not have a specific proposal for us right now. Columbus is drafting a response to both ours and another Lake County community’s request for a performance audit. We should anticipate having something in our hands by next week. I was not led to believe that they were going to be proposing anything for us. I will wait to see what they put on paper.
There were no questions of Ms. Vaughn.
RECOGNITION OF THE PUBLIC
Mr. D’Ambrosio recognized the public input at this time; he reminded the speakers that there is a 3-minute limit for their comments; all comments are to be directed to the Chair and not include any personalities or individuals.
Ted Beres, 36706 Lakehurst Drive, Eastlake
Mr. Beres: First, I want to say – welcome back, Deb. Second, I want to give kudos to the Service Department for how they handled the snow storm last week especially when you see the situation in Cleveland. I want to talk to you about some of the wonders I have experienced or seen since we moved to Eastlake 43 years ago. One of those wonders is the sunsets on Lake Erie – I have seen some really spectacular ones. Also, snow – although it is a backache snow does paint a beautiful landscape. I remember getting ready for work one morning and looking out the front door and seeing the Aurora Borealis. That is a rare site. Also, I remembered the first summer we moved here and I was outside looking at the sky and saw something like tiny tornadoes. My neighbor said they were water spouts. Living in Cleveland I do not remember gazing at the stars – maybe because the street I lived on was lined with large trees and even larger two family homes. But living in Surfside the sky has been wide open for viewing. So, in contrast to Cleveland Eastlake has been wonder-full.
There was no one else who wished to speak.
LEGISLATION PROPOSED – First number will be 2015-007
There was no Legislation Proposed.
There was no Legislation Pending.
There was no Unfinished Business.
There was no New Business.
MAYOR/SAFETY DIRECTOR – Dennis Morley
Mayor Morley: Welcome residents. I see a couple new faces and I see the faces that are here every meeting. I am glad you are out. You are dedicated with all this cold weather. As Mr. Slocum talked about with the budget – we did get the budget out to our Directors and we have asked them to go through it line item by line item to see if there are any changes they see fit that they need. I have gone through my Department and cut down some other expenses in the Mayor’s office. They do not add up to a lot but something everywhere can add up – if we could cut another $5,000 or $6,000 in each Department we are better off in the end. You will see in the first budget that the end of 2015 we are looking at a $10,500 deficit. I believe as we go through the budget that will turn into a positive. If you have any questions before the meeting we are here every day. I appreciate your comments, Mr. Beres, about the snow service. We have had good and bad comments. Residents have asked me about different cities. The City of Eastlake has 4 snowplows and 3 crews. Willowick has 11 crews, Wickliffe has between 8 and 9 crews and Willoughby has 25 crews. If you look at those numbers and you drove through those cities – which I did – our streets were just as good in some areas if not better – with 4 trucks. I understand if people are frustrated and called into Mr. Rubertino and me last week but with 4 trucks I applaud our Service Director and our Service Department. Mr. Gwydir and I met with Mr. Miller of Storm Water Management to start looking to form a narrative and a plan. Mr. Gwydir is working on that and should have it for me in the next couple of weeks which I will forward to Council. For the people who have called in about the change of the $6 fee to the County’s $15 fee and then the change by the County to $42 – the $6 we collected yearly generated about $80,000. Those of you who have been coming to meetings know there is not a lot of storm water work we can do with $80,000. The estimate for the first year of us being in the storm water management program that will be for the City of Eastlake is $680,000. We want to have a cushion so we are looking at approximately $500,000 that we can use this year. C.T. Consultant’s built a model in which they can put in scenarios of how much water is coming into your area – with a 100 year plan, a 500 year plan – all different plans. We will start a plan of attack. We along with Willoughby are looking at things for Corporation Creek. We have talked about some things for sewer cleaning and we are also looking into the possibility of tying into the retention basin off of Route 2 which would help this area immensely. That is part of the plan we went into with Willoughby last year. I will not comment on the ladder truck but will let the Chief do so but Mayor Anderson and I spoke after our Joint Safety Committee meeting last week. We left it that Willoughby would prepare the Memorandum of Understanding and then I will look at it with our Law Director, Chief Whittington and Finance Director and will make a determination and present it to Council. As Mr. Hoefle commented each community has a ladder truck. Willoughby’s is unrepairable. We have a ladder truck we cannot use because we cannot man it. In deference to Chief Whittington and Willoughby’s Chief – they have brought it to this point. We will share it and they will provide it and do the work for us should we need a ladder truck. This concludes my report. I am open for questions.
Mr. Licht: Regarding the storm water projects you are looking into to – is the goal to get some projects for 2015?
Mayor Morley: I have a map that shows all the problem areas. We are looking at making a plan for the areas to see what steps we can do. Our plans are to try to get some projects done this year. Part of it is that we have to do a study – we never had the money to do studies before – one of those things is we will identify issues. We have already identified issues in the Glenn/Iris area, the Galalina area and the North/South Riverview area but we never had any money to go into the areas to do anything.
Mr. Licht: You mentioned possible revenue in the amount of $680,000 with a safe amount being $500,000. Any remaining balance would be carried over to next year and not split among the other cities.
Mayor Morley: Right. There will be an amount for each city and there is also money in the fund in case we wanted to borrow money. I do not have the totals for all the cities. The only city that is not in the program right now is Wickliffe. I think when Willoughby and Eastlake handed in their wish list that was one of the reasons the fee went from the $15 that it was when we joined the group to $42. They want to make sure they can show we are going to get some things done.
There were no further questions of Mayor Morley.
FIRE CHIEF – Ted Whittington
Chief Whittington: Regarding the ladder truck – it came to me over the last few years with the lack of staff that the ladder truck could not be used efficiently. In the late 1990’s when the truck was purchased our staff was a maximum of 11 guys on duty and a minimum of 9 guys on duty. Now we have a maximum of 7 and a minimum of 5. The ladder truck was specifically designed for rescue scenarios. Right now we are only sending 3 people to mutual aid calls and the truck most certainly needs to have better staffing then that – especially if someone has a fire and our ladder truck is coming they expect us to be able to use it efficiently. The last couple of years I have been debating it. It costs us about $20,000 per year to maintain the truck. The biggest problem with the truck is if it does not get used. Willoughby referred to that in the meeting we had – since their truck has been out of service they have noticed some deficiencies because it sits. As a cost savings measure and efficiency issue and most important I do not feel it is a safe thing for me to send my firefighters to another community without being able to staff the ladder truck appropriately. That is how the discussion came about. I alluded to it at the last Council meeting that I brought it to the Mayor for review. We met with Willoughby two or three times on it before presenting it to Council. It will not affect emergency operations for our community. If we had a fire in the City of Eastlake right now the ladder truck does not go on it. If we had a fire in an industrial building and needed a ladder truck right now we would not be able to use our ladder truck – we would use another community’s ladder truck. It will not change much for us other than being more efficient with it. I want to make sure as we go forward with it that the residents are assured that it does not affect our operations because I would not allow that to happen. If I felt that this would be a detriment to us or our community I would not bring something like this to you. I think with your support and the Mayor’s support this has an ability to come to fruition and I thank you for it. If you or your constituents have any questions I am open for questions to talk to anyone.
Mr. D’Ambrosio: We met with Willoughby. It was a great meeting and from my point of view it is a win-win for Eastlake and Willoughby. A truck that is sitting there, idle, and doing nothing can be put to use. It is thinking outside the box.
There were no questions of Chief Whittington.
SERVICE DIRECTOR – Nick Rubertino
Mr. Rubertino: On behalf of the Service Department employees, thank you, Mr. Beres and Mayor. I think the guys did a commendable job. They are out there 5 days straight, 24 hours a day. With 3 different shifts I think they did a great job. We did have issues in some areas but all I can say is patience will prevail. Yours may not be the first street every time but the guys to put a great effort into trying to get out there. The last 2 or 3 nights we have been working on chuck holes – at least 2 shifts with 3 guys a shift. We are trying to get the larger ones first. It is a little harder at night but if anyone has a call please forward it to me and we will get out there to get the major ones first and move down the road from there. This concludes my report. I am open for questions.
There were no further questions of Mr. Rubertino.
CITY ENGINEER – Tom Gwydir
Mr. Gwydir: Following up on the Mayor’s comments regarding storm water. I have a draft prepared for the Mayor about the way I would recommend proceeding with storm water. I will present that to the Mayor in the next couple of days and given his approval I will finalize it and provide it to the County for further comment. A couple of meetings ago passed legislation regarding a repair to the WPCC diffusers. We did some preliminary investigation. It looks like the permitting for that work will push construction to September which is out of the window. Right now it looks like the design will move forth over the summer and we will go out for bids in early 2016 and do construction between June and August, 2016. Just because we are very concerned about the condition of the diffusers as soon as the lake opens up and as soon as reasonable practical the City of Willoughby will have a diver go down to see how the pipe faired over the winter. That may change some things but it does look like the permitting will push us until 2016. I am open for questions.
There were no questions of Mr. Gwydir.
FINANCE DIRECTOR – Mike Slocum
Mr. Slocum: Besides what we talked about earlier I would like to add something to the Finance Committee agenda for next week. We had a bid opening last week for the landscape services – the grass cutting for people who do not cut and they are billed. We had an apparent low bidder which we are investigating and I anticipate we will have a recommendation later this week. If we can get this added on to the agenda we can hopefully award the contract in two weeks. I am open for questions.
There were no further questions of Mr. Slocum.
LAW DIRECTOR – Randy Klammer
Mr. Klammer: Mrs. Cendroski is helping me prepare the legislation to repeal the multi-unit inspection ordinance which is subject to another law suit. We never really enforced it. Mr. Menn is also presenting an ordinance to add Court costs to some of the fines. I am open for questions.
There were no questions of Mr. Klammer.
CHIEF BUILDING OFFICIAL – David Menn
Mr. Menn was absent and excused.
POLICE CHIEF – Larry Reik
Chief Reik was absent and excused.
Mr. D’Ambrosio: One thing I neglected to mention in the Council President’s report – most of you know because of the cuts that were made the Clerk of Council’s position was made part-time. So the Council office hours have changed and will be from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. On Council meeting nights the office will be open from approximately 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. We are trying to keep it to 20 hours per week.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 7:38 p.m.
JOE D’AMBROSIO, COUNCIL PRESIDENT\
DEBORAH A. CENDROSKI,
CLERK OF COUNCIL