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. Morley at approximately 7:01 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Mr. Licht.
Members of Council in attendance were Mr. Licht, Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins, Ms. Vaughn, Mr. Hoefle and Council President Mr. Morley. Mr. D’Ambrosio and Ms. DePledge were absent and excused. Also attending was Council Clerk Mrs. Cendroski.
Those attending from the Administration were Mayor Andrzejewski, Law Director Klammer, Finance Director Slocum, Service Director Semik, City Engineer Gwydir and Police Chief Reik.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Regular Council Meeting – August 27, 2013
MOTION: Ms. Vaughn moved to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 27, 2013. Mr. Hoefle seconded.
ROLL CALL: Yeas unanimous.
Motion carried. The minutes were approved.
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COUNCIL PRESIDENT’S REPORT – Mr. Morley
Mr. Morley: The next Council-as-a-Whole Committee Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. The Regular Council meeting will be convened immediately following the adjournment of the Council-as-a-Whole Committee meeting.
I would like to thank Mr. John Kikol for organizing the 9-11 Never Forget Ceremony on Sunday. There were about 300-400 in attendance. It was a great event.
Regardless of your candidate next Tuesday is the primary so get out and vote.
COMMUNICATIONS & PETITIONS
A communication was received from Finance Director Slocum regarding the 2014 Tax Budget as received from the Lake County Auditor. Mr. Morley explained that this was discussed in Council-as-a-Whole Committee and appeared on this evening’s agenda as Legislation No. 09-10-(01).
Mr. Morley: No Committee meetings were held.
Finance Committee – Ms. Vaughn, Chair
Ms. Vaughn: I will not be scheduling a Finance Committee meeting at this time. I have checked with the Finance Director and there is nothing pending so we will put it off until the end of the month.
But, I would like to read an email from the Finance Director that we all received. It is replying to a question from Mr. Licht about the possibility of having the money for a grant program similar to what has been done by other cities – for the backflow preventers. Mr. Slocum’s reply to our Ward 4 Council person – it is all part of the public record:
“At the beginning of the year we projected a $600,000 surplus, since that time, we have received a substantial refund from the BWC…”
which is the Bureau of Workmans Compensation
“and income tax projections have thus far exceeded expectations. As a result, I believe that we will have a surplus of around $800,000 at year end; however, as I reported when we passed the tax budget, I believe that a significant portion of any surplus will be needed in 2014 to maintain service levels where they currently exist.”
Mr. Licht replied to Mr. Slocum:
“Are you stating that the approximate $450,000 surplus that was projected in the General Fund is no longer expected to be there at the end of the year?”
In return Mr. Slocum replied in an email to all of us:
“To begin with there is no money in the General Fund that will not be used this year or next year. The only possible source of funds on an extremely limited basis is the storm water fund. However, it must be recognized that the $80,000 in this fund is the only monies we have to address storm water issues. It would be my recommendation that these monies not be used for a backflow preventer program. If you have any questions please call or email.”
I did inform Mr. Slocum that I was going to read these emails this evening.
Mayor Andrzejewski: I will make a statement regarding this during my report.
Economic & Community Development Council – Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins, Chair
Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins: We have an ECDC meeting scheduled for September 18th at 6:30 p.m.
RECOGNITION OF THE PUBLIC
Mr. Morley 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: In my lifetime I do not think I have ever seen a parking lot so poorly designed as the new WalMart parking lot. By contrast the former K-Mart parking lot was spacious and easily assessable. I have also observed some problems that the planning also didn’t foresee. According to what the Mayor said at the last Council meeting the area by the WalMart sign was designated to be a right hand turn for people coming from Willowick. It was not designated to be a left hand turn. People turned it into a left hand turn. It was decided to have people go to East 337th Street and turn left. The message is not getting to the customers. I have turned left at East 337th Street – that is what I usually do. The problem there is when the green light comes on the left turn signal does not always come on. So, that means you will have traffic backing up on a very busy street. The same situation was also at the old WalMart with the two stop lights there. As far as that right turn lane – when people are making a left hand turn into it – well, it is obvious that people coming westward on Vine Street see an entrance – how are they going to know it is just a right hand turn entrance? And to have another right turn entrance and a left turn entrance that the Mayor says will alleviate the problem may also complicate the problem. Because how are shoppers going to know which is a right turn entrance and which is a left turn entrance? And you are going to have a cut through – that is also proposed – yet I think there are enough exits at WalMart. If people want to go left on Vine Street there is one in front of WalMart and one by the bank. Obviously the shoppers are using it now and I do not know if a cut through is necessary but we will have to wait and see. There is also a safety issue there. This is primarily because of the actions of people who shop there. I have seen people park their car on that white stripe area in front of the entrances so someone can come out of the store and load up their vehicle right there. All they are is an obstacle to me to go around an area that is already congested with foot traffic and vehicle traffic. There has already been one reported act of vandalism as a result of an altercation over a parking space. Three times so far when I made a right turn onto Vine Street from the parking lot I have encountered a vehicle making a left turn onto the Drug Mart parking lot. I don’t think the planners had the foresight to see that could be a problem. At the meeting of July 9th the Mayor said that the parking spaces are more than adequate. I say wait until Black Friday. Last year they moved it up to Thursday and I hear they want to move it up to Wednesday this year to compete with Target. With the volume of traffic that I witnessed the previous years I do not believe that the WalMart parking lot will be able to accommodate them. It will be a nightmare.
Jerry Nelson. 35440 Beachpark, Eastlake
Mr. Nelson: This is concerning the new scavenger law – I currently work the nightshift and the hours you have set up are 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. By the time I get off work I am not able to legally do any extra income. Also, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. are times when children are running around. A lot of people get upset when they have to drive around you. I prefer to go out at night. This way I am not bothering anyone – there are no children around – I am also kind of a block watch while I am out. I have reported fires and helped people who have fallen in the snow and that kind of thing. I was wondering if there is any way that someone could go out after 9:00 p.m. and if not what requirement would that be? It is like after 9:00 p.m. you are not supposed to be out – just because it is night time does not mean I am up to no good. Why is the cut-off point at 9:00 p.m.?
Mr. Morley: Those were the hours that were discussed and were from a city that was around us. Chief, do you have anything to add?
Chief Reik: If you do this in other cities you probably know that Willowick does not even allow it. In putting together a new law we were trying to keep in mind that people are starting to go to bed and things like that. Part of the complaints came from either vehicles in disrepair or people being loud when loading things into the bed of a truck or something like that.
Mr. Nelson: I notice when I am out there that I don’t see anyone else out – I don’t go out till 1:00 a.m. after I get off work. The people I see out are officers. And the messes I see are usually from the residents themselves who just carelessly throw stuff to the curb and animals that dig through things. My truck is not noisy – I don’t make a mess – I turn my lights off and put my flashers on so officers can see me. I still would not be allowed to go out after 9:00 p.m.?
Chief Reik: There is no exception in the law right now.
Mr. Nelson: What would it take to have an exception – file something?
Chief Reik: I can speak with Councilman D’Ambrosio when he gets back and he and Mr. Hoefle will decide if there should be some exceptions made for whatever circumstances.
Mr. Nelson: I will even pay extra for a nighttime permit.
Chief Reik: The whole thing was not a money issue.
Mr. Morley: Like any other ordinance we pass if we get a lot of complaints after it is passed we can look at it again. At this point it is new and we are trying to see how it affects people. We have had some positive calls and negative calls. That is all we can do right now.
Mr. Nelson: Did you have many calls prior to the flood?
Mr. Morley: We had calls but in April last year Mr. D’Ambrosio received most of the calls from his area and different parts of the City. He and Mr. Hoefle are Co-Chairs the Ordinance Committee. We discussed it last year and tabled it. Then, during the flood we received more calls – that is why we looked at it this year.
Mr. Nelson: That was a special situation – a flood does not happen that often – it brought all the crazies all over the place. Thank you.
Lisa Thistlewood, 35442 Mondamin Drive, Eastlake
Mrs. Thistlewood: I know that many people suffered from the flooding but I think what happens in the area where I live – there are a lot of people who do not get along with the Mayor and we know that – but because of the area we live in things happen and there have been multiple things posted in the City Gazette that say he had people come to his house first. My house isn’t his house. I live down there. If anyone here wrote this they need to know that they did not go to his house. There were no Service workers at his house. They were in the street by his house pumping water. First they were pumping it and the water kept circling right back into us. It comes from the hill – Timberlake – and the hill across the street. I know a basin is there to try to catch some and it has helped some but this is the second time I have flooded in seven years. It is frustrating and I know the other people have suffered the same way but I think it needs to be represented here – it is not just Ted who is down there. There are several other homes down there and we all suffered. I know many people in Eastlake did too but that needs to be retracted or someone needs to say something here because it looks really bad. It was not just him. They came and helped the people who are down there. Everyone in the neighborhood was out in the street and there was water up to our knees. It was not just Ted. They did not go to his house at all.
Dennis Skinner, 36334 South Riverview Drive, Eastlake
Mr. Skinner: This was from the last meeting concerning the flooding in the area. It went late and there were a couple of things I forgot to ask. One question I had – the Mayor was speaking to the fact that the City is pretty much developed out and there is really not a lot of room for development. But, he did mention – “other than Erie Road.” I think I probably have a good idea – there are some commercial properties that from time to time have “for sale” signs on them – “build to suit.” What are they going to do with their storm water? I would be willing to bet they are going to tie into the storm sewer. My question is maybe at some point in time some kind of modest input at the top of South Riverview can be accommodated. Maybe that is something that can be talked about. I was reading an article in the paper and the quotes from the Corps of Engineers. Has there been any discussion at all by the City and Council and the Administration about doing something with the creek or has anyone started or has there been a discussion concerning the process of the Corps of Engineers doing something with that creek?
Mr. Morley: The only thing at this point was what was mentioned at the last meeting – the Mayor and Mr. Gwydir have something today and I am sure they are going to speak about it. Since the last meeting there have been basically emails – which I sent out after my meeting with you guys. At this point we have not had any formal discussions.
Mr. Skinner: Just so I understand that is something a resident can’t do – they cannot go talk to the Corps of Engineers because that is you guys – correct?
Mr. Morley: Right.
Mr. Skinner: Those are the questions I have had – the last meeting got a little late.
Linda Laird, 1065 Eastlake Drive, Eastlake
Ms. Laird: I have some concerns about the scavenger issue. I have lived in Eastlake for 30 years – resident and home owner and I own a couple of businesses. I understand why we need control of what is going on – I get that. The thing is first of all our law enforcement knows who is out there. We have a phenomenal team – they know what is going on and they see the same people every week going up and down the same streets – Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – you know. The problems that occur from people scavenging aren’t coming from these people that do this as a job – as income. It is coming from the transient people who are coming from Willowick or whatever. Sometimes we have issues with kids. But, as far as the hours and – you know these guys have been out at 12:00, 1:00, 3:00 in the morning on a regular basis and the homeowners that are up and about see the same trucks – the same people all the time and there is not an issue. You get issues from other people who are not from this City. Even though we get permits there is no control over people who don’t. The police cannot be everywhere. It just takes one person to make a hideous mess after someone has stacked their trash neatly and they get up in the morning and it is all over their yard. It is infuriating – I agree. But, I kind of look at this from both sides because I, too, am one of those people who drive around and look for a steal. It seems like one job is not enough anymore and a lot of these guys that you see out there doing this – this is their supplement to feed their families and support their children and for the most part I have heard remarks from people – “oh, they are casing out our house”. No, they are trying to save theirs – they are working. These are honest, hard working people just like everyone else who is in here. Some of us have to get creative in how we get income. I guess the bottom line of all of this would be if all these people were recycling the way they should be – not just throwing your cans and plastic bottles in a green garbage can every two weeks – but, really recycling. Then the scrap people would not be out there. There is definitely a need and no one wants to look at that side of it – okay? And also these people are not making millions of dollars off – “you are not going to make any money off my garbage.” The money they make – it is not like it is free – it is not like most of this stuff is not heavy – it is work – it is work – it is. I guess I am kind of being the devil’s advocate a little bit because I understand the homeowner’s part of this but I also understand the people who are relying on this as income. These people are quiet – they do not make messes. They don’t tear up people’s stuff. The time frame is a little bit off. It may have worked in other cities but I go out and do this too and I see the same guys all the time – all the time. Our law enforcement knows who is out there and who belongs – they are on top of it more than people realize. I am asking for a little bit of leniency perhaps with the time frame and also to point out that when there is a problem it usually is not from any these regular people who do this. It is coming from other cities – people coming through our borders. Thank you for the opportunity to address the Council.
Mr. Morley: Thank you, when Mr. D’Ambrosio gets back I will talk to him about the time frame and we will sit down and talk to the Chief a little more about it. We can always tweak the ordinances.
Ms. Laird: I have another idea that may solve some problems. Eastlake residents, okay, I have always said keep your Eastlake businesses in Eastlake – I don’t care what it is. So, why could it not be a feasible idea to perhaps list some of our Eastlake residents that are getting permits somewhere on the Eastlake website or perhaps in the Gazette as people the consumers and residents can call to haul away a refrigerator, a freezer, a stove, a piece of workout equipment. Why not? That would solve a lot of problems too.
Mr. Morley: I had one of the recyclers call me and ask me that a few days ago. I actually was in the recycling business four years ago and I understand the whole concept of recycling and that people do it to make money. We can discuss with the Mayor about trying to solicit people’s names. That does work out for people too – they don’t have to haul it.
Ms. Laird: And with the permit which is through the Police Department they know what vehicle we are driving, who we are, our insurance – everything is available about us. It is not like we are just someone off the sidewalk that just decided to cruise the City. So, because of that – knowing exactly who it is – the permit people – I don’t think there should be a free ride for anyone but I think Eastlake residents deserve a little break. We have a phenomenal community and right now I believe any commerce we can generate in any way – in any way – as far as recycling goes I think it is bloody brilliant and when everyone has more money everyone has more money because you can afford to shop at the shoe store, grocery store, my store and don’t forget the flea market. There are so many opportunities. Like I said this is truly recycling – 100% – this is recycling. When you pass your discarded clothing to someone or your daughter takes your old car instead of you scrapping it or whatever the case is – that is true 100% recycling.
There was no one else who wished to speak.
LEGISLATION PROPOSED – First number will be 2013-059
RESOLUTION NO.: 09-10-(01)
Requested by: Finance Director Slocum A Resolution accepting the Tax Budget for 2014 Sponsored by: Council as presented by the Director of Finance, and declaring an emergency.
There was no motion to suspend the rules requiring separate readings and reading in full.
Legislation is placed on First Reading.
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There is no Legislation Pending.
There was no Unfinished Business.
There was no New Business.
MAYOR/SAFETY DIRECTOR – Ted Andrzejewski
Mayor Andrzejewski: We have a list of an individual in Eastlake and we keep it available if someone calls to inquire who to call to pick up a refrigerator or stove – and it is an Eastlake resident – we give them the name of that business. We also put his name and business on Channel 12 and we would be happy to do that for anyone else. Just call the office with the names.
I would like to address a couple of things that were in the Eastlake Gazette. I am not happy. At the last Council meeting Cindy Quinn-Hopkins asked…
Mr. Morley: Mayor, no politics.
Mayor Andrzejewski: No, I can do it in my report. She was on the public record – on the public record. Cindy Quinn-Hopkins asked Mr. Slocum, our Finance Director, what was the cost of the overtime for the flood. Mr. Slocum replied $60,000 – it is on the record. She persisted and asked him again. Mr. Slocum said $60,000. Now we know the reason she asked that question. In the Gazette September issue a Councilwoman in this City listed the cost of the flood to the residents as $450,000. All she had to do was to call Mr. Slocum before she wrote that article and ask him what the cost was. Mr. Slocum always gives a direct, truthful answer. The people of Eastlake need to know the flood did not cost us that much money. I am very upset that a Councilman put that in writing. Know why? Because there are a certain amount of Eastlake residents who will believe that. That is why. So, I expect her tonight to retract that statement that was in the Gazette and also in next month’s article – I am a little upset so bear with me – to retract that statement. It is untrue, period.
Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins: Can I respond?
Mayor Andrzejewski: I have some more things – also the $60,000…
Mr. Morley: Mayor…
Mayor Andrzejewski: It is my report Mr. Morley – I listened to you…
Mr. Morley: Mayor, I am the Chair – you know that…
Mayor Andrzejewski: I can’t believe we are doing this – it’s my report…
Mr. Morley: We are not getting into political debates here between you and Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins.
Mayor Andrzejewski: You just mentioned politics – I never said politics. Okay, now – the $60,000 also we recorded could quite possibly be reimbursed 75% by a State of Ohio Disaster Relief Fund that all cities have applied for, including Eastlake, Willoughby, Wickliffe and every other Lake County city. That was reported. Of the $60,000 some of it and Mr. Slocum and Mr. Semik can tell you was not for overtime. We were allowed to put in a rental cost for the use of our equipment – dump trucks, frontend loaders – whatever equipment was used to pick up the trash – the State would reimburse us for use of the equipment. So, the $60,000 was not for overtime along – it was for the rental charge. They gave us a chart and we could charge so much per hour for use of the equipment. Remember, that could quite possibly be reimbursed up to 75% by the State of Ohio Disaster Fund. The second untrue statement that was in the Gazette was that I was given special treatment because of where I live and because I am the Mayor. As you heard one of our residents in the area – and they asked me to speak for them because they all could not be here tonight – they are very upset because they feel they are entitled to City services just like any other resident regardless if the Mayor, Governor or President lives there. Mrs. Hopkins was not there…
Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins: It is Quinn-Hopkins.
Mayor Andrzejewski: Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins was not there the morning of the flood. She did not see the damage to the neighborhood – the extensive damage to the neighborhood. So, how could she make a judgment that services were not needed in that area? I am sure if all of my neighbors were available tonight this room would have been packed because they are very upset because they want services just like any other resident, regardless of the Mayor living there or not.
On a lighter note – Channel 99 is now working – finally. We determined that the problem was in a box. As of this afternoon we have a video of the announcements and a video of the radio station playing. As I am here at 2:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. and noon I could not see if the program was being broadcast. If anyone has ATT U-Verse see if you can turn in the program to see if it is broadcasting and let me know – then we will know it is fully working.
I submitted to Council a memo – and I hope they will consider it and I am sure they will and put it in the right Committee. I submitted a memo to consider reimbursing residents of Eastlake for backflow preventers – just like Willowick, Wickliffe and Mentor. In the memo I asked that we consider a couple of things and I have asked Law Director Klammer to look into the storm water fund we have to see if it is appropriate to use that fund to reimburse the residents. I put in the memo that I would like them to consider four things when they reimburse residents – the backflow preventer must be installed after July 20th – you have to pick a date somewhere and July 20th was the day of the flood; reimburse up to 50% – just like the other cities are doing; have our Building Department verify the backflow preventer was installed; waive the permit fee of $35; and, get a copy of the actual bill from the contractor so we have it for our records. I think we should all try to help our residents. Even if it sounds like it is a little thing it is not a little thing – it could be a lot of money. But, if a backflow preventer could prevent storm water or sewer backup into even 25 homes – because it seems like in some areas of the City one home got it and one didn’t – not in the areas we know are prone to water – North and South Riverview, the area I live in, North Coast Point and others. But, in areas where they don’t get a lot of water these might be able to help people. I have asked Council to look at it and I am sure they will put it in the appropriate committee.
Mr. Skinner, I have asked Mr. Gwydir – we met the day after the last meeting – to review the plans we have for your area to see if they are still valid, would still help solve the water problem in that area, and if he says they are still valid and what the cost is I will ask you and some of the others to gather the residents to have a meeting at City Hall and see if they want to go through with it. But, I have asked Mr. Gwydir to verify if the solution 6 years ago is still a good solution. Again, I think a lot of the burden will be on you and some of your residents to get their concurrence that they want to do the project because as you remember 6 years ago there was strong opposition to going through with it.
WalMart, Mr. Gwydir when WalMart, Kmart, whatever – small department stores – when the City Engineer and Planning Commission look at parking do you look at it for one or two days or do you look at it over a course of time? In other words do you plan the parking for Black Friday or a major shopping day like that or do you look at the parking requirements for an entire year?
Mr. Gwydir: We actually look at the parking in accordance with City ordinances which we did for WalMart and balance that in accordance with City ordinances. I would like to note that when those drawings come in the configuration of the drive is the choice of the owner based on what they see on the conditions. I will say that WalMart came in and made a reasonable attempt to have access in and out of their store with the least amount of congestion on Vine Street thus the current configuration. As we have all heard the geometry is causing some amount of problems with folks and that has made it into the City and as a result the City, me included, has met with representatives of WalMart and their engineering division has currently laid out a revised entrance in front of WalMart to let people turn in off of Vine Street to make a left hand turn going into WalMart and also retain the other driveways. Additionally they are looking at a tie-in drive between the two areas and the two parking lots. As far as parking on Black Friday or associated days which are typically the heaviest parking days we do expect overflow of parking and expect that lot to be full. We do expect some overflow. As a little bit of background the parking lot at WalMart is very different from most parking lots we have seen lately because the City has put in ordinances that require anyone redoing an area such as WalMart to control the storm water that flows off that property. Thus there are more green spaces, pervious pavement and a number of other items that were installed in the parking lot to control storm water. That is why it does look a little different than most. It is a combination of factors and clearly as the engineering side of the City while we did not design the driveway we heard that and are working with WalMart’s engineers to build a better mousetrap.
Mayor Andrzejewski: As we talked about in previous meetings – the owners of WalMart, Good Sense, the actual plaza are all in favor of the changes that are in the process of being done – is that correct?
Mr. Gwydir: That is correct from the meeting I attended and they do support that work.
Mayor Andrzejewski: We all think once these changes are made – and we ask the people to give us some time – they will make it a lot better to get in and out of there. As far as Black Friday with the cut through people can park all the way to where Good Sense is and walk to WalMart if they want or vice versa. I remember my sons and I went that Thursday night where the old WalMart is and parked way down towards Vine Street and walked in the store and walked out because there were so many people. That day even the parking lot at the old WalMart could not handle all the people. This concludes my report.
Mr. Morley: Mr. Klammer, you were out of the room and there was a question…
Mayor Andrzejewski: I said I asked you to look at the storm water ordinance to see if we can use it for the backflow preventers.
Mr. Morley: I just want the residents to understand that until you give us a decision about the funds we cannot put anything into Committee.
Mr. Klammer: The Mayor did ask me to look at that. I circulated an initial email. Mr. Slocum helped me to clarify which specific fund we are looking at because there is an ordinance on point. The ordinance is not necessarily as flexible as everyone would want it to be so I have to decide what the Auditor is going to be happy with when all is said and done. You have his memo to me and you have my initial response – I have to look at it.
Ms. Vaughn: What is the status of our electric sign?
Mayor Andrzejewski: We are continuing to – Mrs. Garry is working very hard on learning how to operate that sign. She is getting further instruction. On her own she downloaded some complete instructions. We are continuing to work on it. It is more of a challenge than we thought putting in the announcements. But, it will be taken care of. Just like Channel 99 was eventually taken care of – that will eventually be taken care of.
Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins: There are three different points I want to talk about in response to what you said – number one – I will not take back anything that I wrote in the Gazette because everything I wrote was 100% true. I had three separate individuals from the Service Department tell me they were instructed to go to your home first before they went to any other neighborhood with a pump. On top of that I have talked with the person who took your phone call at the Police Department saying they were to go to your home first. These things carry a lot of credibility in my humble opinion. Regarding the cost of the flood the information I got I felt was very credible – I got it from Mr. Semik. I asked him along side of the road on Erie Road – they were doing some digging down there. I said, “How much did this cost the City?” He came up with a number – he said $450,000. I thought that was a pretty credible answer. He said it with a degree of authority. I did not think I needed to check any further. Then, I guess I could not help thinking that possibly Mr. Slocum had left out – he was only talking about overtime – that is what you said – $60,000 was the overtime cost but I want to know the total cost for everything. For all the process of handling this disaster – carrying everything away, police and fire and wear and tear and so on. There were a lot of things that were an expense to our City. We bought more pumps, okay? Also, I have a question. I found that we easily have received information from Willowick, Willoughby and Mentor about how many residents in their cities were affected by this flood. There is not information in our City about how many people were actually affected. I would like to know that.
Mayor Andrzejewski: Okay, we will look at those answers. As long as she brought up the points I wish to respond. First of all there is one and only one true finance person in this City and he is sitting right over there – it says Finance Director. Whenever Council has asked a question about finances I give them credit because they call Mr. Slocum. He takes their phone calls and gives them a direct answer. On the side of the road while he is the middle of the job? Asking him for a very accurate number of a flood? Come on Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins. Mr. Semik, we have asked you and I will ask you in front of this public forum – did you give Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins any information about the flood costing us $450,000?
Mr. Semik: Mayor, the only information that was given to Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins as I knew it at that particular time was the percentage we were looking at through FEMA…
Mayor Andrzejewski: Thank you. I must contradict your statement and …
Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins: You interrupted him – he was not done talking.
Mayor Andrzejewski: I am going to reiterate that the flood did not cost us $450,000 and that if you need accurate financial information you check with Mr. Slocum and he will give it to you before you write an article.
Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins: Mr. Slocum is in the process of getting me those accurate numbers now.
Mayor Andrzejewski: Mr. Slocum, what was the cost you gave Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins on August 27th?
Mr. Slocum: Two weeks ago I said $60,000 and I think we will be somewhere in the neighborhood of $60,000 – $70,000 for the total cost including equipment and usage – from everything I have been able to pull together – I just got some information tonight from Service. I am working on it and apologize for not being able to pull it together earlier.
Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins: I understand that.
Mr. Slocum: If I could just say one item – and this is to every elected official here – I am available 24-7 if people want to review anything you want to publish as to numbers. I will give you my best opinion on those numbers at that time. I was surprised to see that number in the article. I wish I had a chance earlier to provide some input with it. That being said at this point going forward I am available. You guys are the ones who are writing. You may not agree with my assessment and I understand that and will not lose a lot of sleep over it. We have not had that issue here. Going forward if you have a question please take advantage of it so we are not getting into an argument after the fact – I don’t want to see that. I think it hurts all our credibility.
Mr. Morley: It will be over soon.
Mr. Slocum: Yes, but still going forward – a year from now people are still going to be writing articles.
Mr. Morley: I did not want the meeting to go this way. I understand both parties. I did not want it to be a political meeting. This is a Council meeting and it has gone into a political meeting. We could sit here for the rest of the meeting and the Mayor could say – Mr. Slocum say this, Mr. Klammer say this and then I could say this and Ms. Vaughn could say this and we will get nowhere. The only un-credibility people are us. The residents did not come here to see this. Can we move on? Mr. Klammer?
LAW DIRECTOR – Randy Klammer
Mr. Klammer: I have the storm water item to look at. On anything specific I usually include you all on most of my emails. Mr. Licht would like me to look at something as far as sidewalks – I owe him an answer on that. The Chief is looking at me – you guys approved the police academy agreement – they came to us because the Attorney General sent it back with some changes. I spoke with them and the Chief who had no objections to the changes. My intent was to present that to you tonight but the Mayor has not had a chance to dig through it. Once he does I assume it will be okay and I will circulate an email just to let your know we are kind of replacing the two agreements but I wanted to let you know there is nothing substantive in that change. If I don’t hear back from you guys I will go forward it. But, I need a chance to go through it with the Mayor. I am open for questions.
There were no questions of Mr. Klammer.
FINANCE DIRECTOR – Mike Slocum
Mr. Slocum: We did publish the financial reports for the end of August. I distributed them before the meeting tonight and put them on the web earlier. I have nothing else to report and am open for questions.
There were no questions of Mr. Slocum.
SERVICE DIRECTOR – Mike Semik
Mr. Semik: They started tearing out the concrete on East 337th Street and Curtis Blvd. to replace the intersection. Once they are through with that they will move over to East 361st Street and Lakeland Blvd. In a couple of weeks you will see them striping the streets – that is scheduled for two weeks from now. That concludes my report Mr. Chairman, however, and I know everyone is trying to keep it non-political and everyone is trying to keep the meeting on track but I do personally – this is personal to me. The question has been brought up several times by a lot of people – Council people – residents – I want to go on record and I believe I went on record before on this issue. I want to clarify – we have some people in the audience where it was brought up – I received a phone call from the Police Department at about 3:05 a.m. When I got to this City and found Erie Road under water I started making calls and assessing the areas that were being hit the hardest. I know the areas that need immediate attention. One of the hardest areas that is constantly hit is the Mondamin-Edison area. With that being said regardless of who lives there, regardless of what may be going on in the harbor area, North Coast Point, South Riverview – I know the areas that need immediate attention. That was the first area that was addressed. At no time – I was on scene the entire day and left this City at 8:00 p.m. – at no time did the Mayor ever instruct me to give personal attention to his home. I recall none of my men in the Mayor’s house personally. With that being said my job as Service Director is to help everyone in this City and I am sure the Chiefs would back that up if they had calls for assistance at your house, the Mayor’s house, Mr. Slocum’s house – anyone else who lives in the City. My job is to take care of the residents regardless of who they are and where they live without passion or discrimination – that is my job and I will continue to do it. Again, I am on record – that never occurred. At no time did he order any of my men. Once we got the situation under hand then I instructed a couple of my guys to take a pump over to Erie Road and check the harbor area because there are three pumps there that are continuously working during a rain event. Unfortunately this was a heavy rain. And, three additional pumps were sent down to that area to assist. That is what happened and that will continue to happen. I will address the areas that are hit hardest on a continuous basis.
CITY ENGINEER – Tom Gwydir
Mr. Gwydir: In regard to Mr. Skinner’s comments we are looking at a number things –
short term, midterm and long term and especially as it relates to North and South Riverview, North Coast Point and even Edison-Mondamin. We are looking into things we can do to affect with and through the Corps of Engineers to address some of the things that are going on with Corporation Creek. It was noted last time there are opportunities for relief but none of them are short term. They require studies and looking at wet lands and things before you can just progress. Clearly, we would like to do things as quickly as possible but some of those things take longer than others. We are looking at globally all of the options both for short term relief and for recommendations to the long term relief. I am putting those reports together and will be sending them to the Mayor for review. I am open for questions.
There were no questions of Mr. Gwydir.
CHIEF BUILDING OFFICIAL – James S. McReynolds
Mr. McReynolds was absent and excused.
POLICE CHIEF – Larry Reik
Chief Reik: I have nothing political to say. As far as the scavenger ordinance people must understand that Councilman D’Ambrosio brought it up about a year ago. We discussed it and did research. If that is what Council wants to do they pass the law and we enforce them. I did not have an objection to it. I live in a cul-de-sac in the City and have seen the good and the bad with scavengers – it is not all one way or the other. The idea of it was to give us some enforcement capability just like with the snowplow permits. It is not for people not to make money snowplowing but if they don’t have insurance and cause an accident that just creates a bigger problem. We are just trying to know who is out there. If Council decides to change the fee or restrict or allow extra hours that is their choice and we will follow it. We were not looking for more things to do. My records clerk will have a tough time on her hands with more licenses but that is what we decided to do and we will take care of it. The $15 permit fee was not a money issue. I posted this on Face Book and got a ton of comments – you cannot tell on Face Book where people are from anyway. I put a statement on there that people were welcome to call me or come to the meetings. Other than the few people who spoke here – and we appreciate the insight – not one person called the office or sent an email. I think a lot of it is just people behind a computer giving their opinion. There are as many people on with any law you pass or take away. We are just trying to do what is best for everyone. Like Councilman Morley said if the majority is not happy with it there are a lot of ways we can change it and keep adapting as we go. As far as what was said about WalMart
they were not designed to take a left turn from Vine Street but it was also not restricted. You have a left turn lane so you can make a left turn going either direction. The initial design was hoping people would go in from East 337th Street. The last time I was at that light yesterday I thought the arrow was working – a lot would depend on when you tripped the sensor but I will have a guy check that again tonight to make sure it is operating correctly. If there is a major problem I will work with Mr. Semik and Signal Service – we have adapted certain lights at certain times to accommodate traffic. If we see there is a problem at certain times we will try to take care of it. On Black Friday and certain times of the year there will always be things you have to worry about. For a Captains game we don’t change light patterns – we just have backed up traffic for a while and it kind of takes care of itself. If there are things that are specific let me know and we will try to get them taken care of and I will check out that light tonight. I am open for questions.
There were no questions of Chief Reik.
FIRE CHIEF – Ted Whittington
Chief Whittington was absent and excused.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 7:56 p.m.
DENNIS MORLEY, COUNCIL PRESIDENT
DEBORAH A. CENDROSKI,
CLERK OF COUNCIL