ORDINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING
MAY 16, 2017
Committee Chair Mr. Hoefle opened the meeting at approximately 6:36p.m. Members of the Committee in attendance were Mr. Hoefle, Mr. Meyers and Mr. Spotton. Present from Council were Mr. Zuren, Mr. Kasunick, Mr. Evers and Council President Ms. DePledge
In attendance from the Administration were Mayor Morley, Fire Chief Whittington, CBO Menn, Finance Director Schindel and Law Director Klammer. Police Chief Reik and Service Director Rubertino were absent and excused.
There were no members of the public in attendance.
Video recording of city meetings
Mr. Hoefle: I am not sure where we want to start with that. We did have some basic stuff that I had drafted up in regards to audio and video recording of meetings. Just as far as what the Ohio Sunshine Laws, a public body cannot prohibit the public from audio or video recording a public meeting. A public body may however establish reasonable rules regulating the use of recording equipment such as requiring equipment to be silent, unobtrusive, self contained, and self powered…interference with the ability of others to hear, see, and participate in the meeting. This is something that…I was also looking at we need to identify an appropriate location for the placement of video equipment if members of the public want to record. We have that ability to establish where they can set up. That would be if we are going to be looking at all of Council, Committee, and Board Meetings. I think that as far as the BZA and Planning Commission…all of them need to be brought up to speed as far as what they can and cannot do. I want to make sure that we get all of that…continue to advise members of the public that they are being recorded. Like I said making sure that we provide instructions to all current city boards regarding policies and procedures. That part of it is for the public…for recording. Are there any comments from the Committee or anybody from Council or the Administration?
Mayor Morley: I have a quick question. I was asked this today. If a resident gets up for their three minutes or regardless of what they are getting up for…do they have a right to say that they don’t want to be taped? They don’t have that right…okay. Let them know that. They asked me the question…I have no issue however you guys want to handle it.
Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Zuren?
Mr. Zuren: I think that we’ve gone over this quite a few times…with the video taping of the meetings I believe that the city needs to do it. I know that Mrs. Simons has reached out to other cities and Ashtabula has responded. They not only video tape it…they live stream it. The research that I have done when we went back to the Finance Committee Meeting it showed that a lot of…most of the cities record it and they put it on YouTube. I think there was an example last time…they are very simple you cover the main topics, inform everybody through a sign designate one person to turn the equipment off and on. Either have it be the Council President or the Mayor to have the ultimate authority to turn it off if something disruptive would happen. I think that we’ve covered that over and over and considering the Open Meetings Act and the Sunshine Laws. I think that we need to move it forward and we need to…we have five weeks to put something that is simplistic in place. We keep covering the details to it and on three readings we have five weeks. I think that we can get this in place and show the public that we are trying to have clarity, trust, and they can have faith in us, and we need to finally push this forward and get this through. That is my opinion.
Mr. Hoefle: What I wanted to look at first was in regards to…first one would be as far as where we should allow the public to set up. If a member of the public comes in and wants to set up to record our meetings where they would be able to set up with their video recorders? If a member of the public wants to come to our Committee Meetings, BZA or Planning Commission…so everybody is aware where do we want to allow them to set up their video recorders? That’s the first one that I was looking at. Mayor Morley?
Mayor Morley: The two questions that I have for Mr. Klammer is if someone were to ask for a records request do we just tell them to go to YouTube?
Mr. Klammer: If you have a public record that is available in electronic format already…
Mayor Morley: I know but on YouTube…I just want to make sure that if we don’t have any issues if someone or somehow it get erased off of YouTube and they go I want that meeting. That is my only issue.
Mr. Klammer: If it’s on YouTube you don’t have to make them another copy. You can refer them to the online source, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have to still keep a copy in the off chance that something happens on YouTube. Unless we change our public records schedule.
Mayor Morley: The only other thing that I have is the Mayor, whether it is me or someone else is a guest at the Council Meetings. The Mayor is not the one…I say that if you’re going to tape and everyone to see things then you need to see some of these people that come and attack us or attack certain people on Council or the Administration. You just let them tape and you don’t stop it at all if you really want it and they really want to see it then that’s what happens. Not hey someone’s being mean to the Mayor and we have to shut it off. No you let it play.
Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Spotton?
Mr. Spotton: First thing we were talking…at that point you made a distinction that we’re talking about residents.
Mr. Hoefle: Right.
Mr. Spotton: It’s a resident that puts it on YouTube and it has nothing to do with the city as entertaining.
Mr. Klammer: If a resident wants to put it on YouTube…he’s talking about where it should be in the room. Back in the day that was an issue, everybody had tripods and cameras and now days they can hold it on their lap.
Mr. Spotton: Well that’s a problem too, because you can’t have five people standing in a corner with their cell phones now.
Mr. Klammer: But you can if you want to designate…if you are going to stand with your cell phones…
Mayor Morley: You can’t tell one person that they can do and another one that they can’t.
Mr. Spotton: What I’m saying as long it is somewhere where it’s not disruptive. I mean if you are sitting in that chair with your phone that’s not right anymore either.
Mr. Klammer: That it is in a place that is designated by the Chairman or the Council President. You can add that to the policy that I already wrote and I don’t think that’s…
Mr. Spotton: Also like what you said…
Mr. Klammer: So if there are ten people there and the Chairman is going to say that you three guys have to go over there and you two guys have to go over there. We have to be able to run this meeting. If one person is taking it the Chairman can say sit where ever you want.
Mr. Spotton: If it’s deemed disruptive by the President period. It doesn’t matter where they are doing it inside the room. But turning it on and off the starts it’s on and the meeting stops it’s over. The President could stop the meeting and turn it off, but not turn it off in the middle of the meeting.
Mr. Klammer: If something needs to be edited for whatever reason; which I don’t imagine that there would be. You should do it after the fact before its republished online. The recording isn’t going to create any problems its publishing it. So god forbid if somebody says “so and so is a sex offender” and they’re not, we can’t publish that on YouTube. We have to…
Ms. DePledge: We can’t.
Mr. Evers: First off I don’t see anything in the budget to buy video equipment this year. Let’s stick with the public videotaping.
Mr. Klammer: I thought that they were donating.
Mr. Meyers: We discussed it.
Mr. Menn: I think that they are two subjects.
Mr. Evers: That is two different subjects…two totally different subjects.
Mr. Hoefle: The first part of this was the public, and point b is for us as to what are we going to do. Point a is are we going to establish that it’s up to the Council President, when we have our meetings and it’s up to the Committee Meetings it’s up to the Chair of that Committee to establish where the public can set up. The BZA, Planning Committee Meetings, and all of those it will be up to who is the Chairman of those Committees to at least advise the public. We need to make sure that they know what they can and cannot do, and what the perimeters are. We have to provide them with policies and procedures.
Mr. Klammer: On that part I think that you can do one paragraph in the Council Section of the Ordinance that it says “it’s permitted and it shall be at the discussion of the Chair or the Council President as the case maybe.”
Mr. Spotton: That to me is it. I don’t want to be designating that they have to stand there. Because now days everybody has a camera, so as long there is a clause like that…
Mr. Klammer: For public people who are recording I think that it’s a one little ordinance section that says that and that’s that. I think that the proposed policy that I gave you guys at the last meeting covers the public recording. Or covers us recording and putting it on YouTube is what I should say…or Facebook.
Mr. Hoefle: So we pretty much need to grab a policy and procedure for all.
Mr. Klammer: You have my policy and procedure for the public…for us recording it.
Mr. Hoefle: We’re talking about the public.
Mr. Klammer: That’s an easy one.
Mr. Hoefle: That’s an easy one. The second one was if the city Council recorded meetings and what I have here is identifying an approval location for the placement of the video equipment to record Council, Committee, and Board Meetings. Who will be recorded? All elected officials, that Administration, and identify all costs associated with the video recording of Meetings, equipment, records retention, storage, flash drive and so on. Who will be responsible for setting up and tearing down, and turn the equipment on and off for all Meetings? Who is responsible for handing over the recorded media to the Council Clerk? Continue to advise members of the public that they are being recorded, provide instructions to all elected officials, members of the Administration and Board members, and where will the recordings be posted; the city website, through social media websites when approved policy is in place. Those are some of my things for as far if we are going to do our own recordings. Now one of the questions that the Mayor said was…I know that you guys brought up that you had somebody to donate a piece of equipment, but are we going to say that we have to set up our stuff at the back of the room and is it going to cover everybody? My opinion if we are going to record it should be covering all members of Council and the Administration. Not just focusing in on just Council. It’s our Council Meeting and the Mayor is correct the Administration is an invited member to it. But if we are going to record meetings I think that we should be covering everybody. The equipment that you currently have that they were going to be donating, what kind of quality is it going to have if it is sitting at the back of the room? Is it suitable…I don’t know.
Mr. Meyers: I’m not sure either we would probably have to research that.
Mr. Hoefle: So those are the things that we have to research as far as making sure that we have the right equipment; something that is going to cover those Meetings inside that room and what kind of equipment would be set up for in here? Probably something like the one that you had would be suitable for this room I don’t know.
Mr. Klammer: You know that is a good point, because you know what’s going to happen if you guys…especially if we want to get this done and recorded and put it on YouTube that seems easy. If you start putting poor quality videos up on YouTube you are going to get hammered for running a terrible operation. You can’t even run good videos, and you can’t even do this, you can get hammered for it. So that is a good point to make sure all of that stuff is perfect. Otherwise they won’t even care about the Public Comments they are going to criticize the quality of it. So that’s a good point.
Mr. Hoefle: I did some checking in regards to with YouTube…that it stays up as long as YouTube exists. That means that we should still keep copies of our Meetings on flash drives just in case. We are going to have to look at records retention. It goes out there but we need to keep something that is going to be suitable…it would have to be turned over to Mrs. Simons for all of those Meetings. You can also turn off the comments and you can also turn off where they don’t have to like it or dislike it. Unless the video is taken down by content grader or with YouTube, such as a copy right take down, it says up. However, there is no guarantee that at some point in the future Google will roll over and die and YouTube will shut down. Not likely to happen anytime soon, but forever is a long time.
Mr. Klammer: Your point that we never closed when we went broke was that we never went to the cloud for our online records retention right? For two or three years we talked about that it’s time that we got to have this back up, because that should probably be a priority.
Mr. Evers: Let me ask you this if a person has access to YouTube they have access to the city website. Why can’t we put it on the city website and skip YouTube?
Mr. Klammer: You can do either.
Mr. Evers: Does that make sense? If you have access to YouTube you also have access to the City of Eastlake website. Why not just put it on there and we can eliminate all of the hassles with YouTube. That way your retention policy stays in control with the city. I’m just asking.
Mr. Klammer: There’s not hassle with YouTube we are just going to have to leave it on a jump drive.
Ms. DePledge: I kind of like what Mr. Evers was saying though if you put it on the city website you kind of take care of the retention issue. Right?
Mr. Klammer: It has to exist is storage somewhere. Whatever media they are watching it doesn’t’ matter to me. If it’s on the city’s website…it still has to have storage of it somewhere. We should think about getting all of our records up into the cloud. When they are talking about public records when they did a few years back that was a push for everybody. We just could afford to do it.
Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Meyers?
Mr. Meyers: I thought that there was some discussion in one of the prior meetings about whether there would be additional cost with storage…involved with storing all of this on the city’s servers as opposed to put it onto YouTube and moving it forward.
Ms. DePledge: We are trying to figure out the best way to do it, but it always comes down to cost. Everything always came down to cost. Everybody wants it recorded and everybody wants it out there. Everybody here are very good stewards of everything that we do in the city, but the fact of the matter is that there has to be somebody there to run it. There has to be somebody there to…if we’re doing it…if the public does it that’s a whole different story. But if we’re doing it we have to make sure that it’s preserved in some fashion and routinely on whatever meeting it is. Then who is going to do that is it going to be Mrs. Simons? Does she know how to work the equipment? I don’t know. And we did discuss that and the issue kind of got dropped and it was just kind of hanging out there, because I don’t even remember who brought it up initially…but never brought it back to say “hey we need to continue to discuss this.” Then it was obviously brought to the fore front with a video camera at the Council Dias, which I thought was inappropriate. Because you have a member of the public sitting up with elected officials and Administration, also when you go like this and you have a camera pointed at somebody and I say “Dave stop pointing you pen at me, stop poking my eye, don’t poke me.” People see the video and don’t know what’s going on because the video is too close to the action. So the video camera has to be back here so you can see that action is occurring. So when you put it too close there’s an issue with what people might actually be seeing. So those are things that have to be discussed that were never discussed. I don’t care which way this goes I support it if we do it and there is a good policy in place. But somebody has to step forward and come up with a workable financial resolution that everybody can get behind.
Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Kasunick?
Mr. Kasunick: Would it be possible to before we pass an ordinance to do some dry run. To have it set up and to make sure that everything is recording properly and everything. The issues like what Mr. Klammer talked about I think to make sure that as far as the placement of the video and all that kind of stuff. If it comes out like garbage, or you can’t hear it or the quality isn’t good and it just makes us look cut rate organization…just make sure that we have the knowledge before we go passing an ordinance. I think that would probably be a good idea.
Mr. Hoefle: Ms. Schindel?
Ms. Schindel: The question of storage is something that I want to address. Our servers at City Hall are 92% filled and they are running old software. So we’re not…we’ve been patching this for a long, long time. They are not something that is going to hold a lot of data. Two if you go and ask AT&T to hold it you’re going to pay for more storage. Because you pay based on how much of AT&T’s space you take up. So those are just some issues that you do need to discuss on that end.
Mr. Klammer: That should almost be a priority is coming up with that cloud storage. That should even be a priority for the city over videotaping probably. It really probably should.
Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Spotton?
Mr. Spotton: I understand that we have to work on infrastructure and server space…but I don’t think that our website could support a lot of video, even though clunckiness of it unless you totally redo the whole thing.
Mayor Morley: We are looking into that.
Mr. Spotton: But why remake the wheel. It’s huge infrastructure and stuff you could…it’s a private thing. You can turn off the comment section; turn off the ups and downs so you don’t get involved in those discussions. Almost every other city does it that way. So why take on that cost?
Mr. Klammer: You still have to do a dry run…I think what Mr. Kasunick was saying.
Mr. Spotton: Modern technology of cameras…you have a pen camera in HD it’s beautiful.
Mr. Hoefle: I did check with the City of Mentor and I looked at their website and they do have their meetings, but you go to a YouTube link. At our firm we have the same thing. We have a bunch of videos out there for different work sessions for some of the attorney’s. You go to our website and they have a YouTube link. So that could be set up and what we need to look at now is what they are recommending…when I’ve talked to some people they are saying if you set it up make sure you have the right quality equipment so that it looks good and everything. What you put out there you set up the YouTube account, but then you have to turn over after a meeting the flash drive would have to be turned over to Mrs. Simons for records retention’ because you don’t want to rely on a third party to handle your records retention. After each meeting you will take it…and you could have it after a committee meeting like this it would be up to the Committee Chair to turn it off and on for each meeting. At a Council Meeting we could reach out and possibly have our Sergeant-at-Arms Mr. Rydzinski at the back of the room, where he can turn it on and off at each meeting.
Mr. Klammer: See that just is an issue is even if we get…putting it up on YouTube is a perfect answer, but how is that data not affecting our limited storage space in the mean time? I don’t think that we can get around that…how do we get around that problem?
Mayor Morley: Just have to keep it on a jump drive. Put everything on a drive.
Mr. Evers: Can we keep it on a disk?
Mr. Klammer: We’re going to put every video on a flash drive for every meeting?
Mayor Morley: For now.
Mr. Kasunick: Eventually that adds up to more money instead of increasing…
Mr. Klammer: I don’t understand…theoretically I really don’t understand how it works. I think that a problem it’s going to be a bottle neck.
Mr. Menn: Since we’re talking about the cameras could you do something like what the Chief does? Go to a couple of camera companies and say “We’re looking to do this” and see what they recommend. Maybe they will loan you…
Chief Whittington: I have to grab this…you have pre-clumped…you have cameras in the Rotunda and it is wired in Council Chambers for a camera. Remember I had to go back in my memory bank if it serves me correct you already have wiring in Council Chambers for cameras. You have one outside of Council…if you go out there right now it’s mounted to the top up there. I think that it was wired to include stuff inside Council Chambers, but that was when they built it.
Mr. Spotton: We’ve been looking around and a 24MG remote controlled internal source camera is $100.00. So the Council President can click it and turn it on.
Mr. Klammer: Is there a jump drive in it?
Mr. Spotton: There’s an internal hard drive in that one.
Mr. Klammer: Then you just have to hook it up with a USB cord.
Ms. DePledge: It has a remote control, so the camera is in the back of the room somewhere mounted?
Mr. Klammer: The problem is how does that data not eat up city storage once you download it to something and put it onto YouTube?
Mr. Spotton: You download it to the desktop and then upload it to YouTube and then you do whatever you’re going to do with it on your desktop.
Mr. Klammer: Then delete it off of your desktop.
Mr. Spotton: Delete it or put it on a drive.
Mr. Klammer: Burn it onto a cd?
Mr. Evers: Burn it onto a cd.
Mr. Hoefle: Who is going to be managing this?
Mr. Spotton: This just takes about five minutes. We’re not talking about reel to reel anymore; I mean this is very quick.
Mayor Morley: The people on the Committee…and guess who’s management? Now you have a Recreation Committee…you’re going to have a Video Taping Committee. It’s only my comments to you Madam President…that you make a Committee and the people on Council run that Committee and they are in charge of the videotaping…done.
Mr. Klammer: If you’re going to do it just…if you’re recording Council and Committee’s I would just designate the Council President and she will designate who will be responsible for making sure that it goes up on YouTube. On a thirty day schedule or whatever it is. I think you have to give yourself realistic time….we all know that something that takes five minutes takes two hours. Right? So Mrs. Simons has to do all kinds of other stuff and before you know it she is half-way through it and she can’t do this or the telephone call and she is only part-time. So give her a little flexibility of a couple of weeks to get stuff up. But we have the policy and it is already drafted and I could just change it that it’s going to be the Council President to make the person responsible for getting it up on YouTube.
Ms. DePledge: Who wants to be responsible?
Mr. Spotton: And the on/off issue. Start the meeting and end the meeting. Nobody turns it off unless the meeting is over. The one that you had I think was the Mayor or somebody would have the choice of shutting it off. From the time it starts the meeting…if you come up and say…Council President says “Okay we’re terminating the meeting and its over.” Then we turn the tape off, but if the meetings going it’s going.
Mr. Klammer: I agree.
Mayor Morley: I agree about that.
Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Meyers?
Mr. Meyers: Question to Mr. Klammer…do we…you’re talking about retaining it on a flash drive or on a memory cards…do we have to retain it if it’s on YouTube?
Mr. Klammer: I think so, because I don’t think that we can guarantee that it’s not going not be on YouTube.
Mr. Meyers: We guarantee…what are we retaining it for currently? Is it ten years?
Mr. Klammer: I don’t know I have to…
Mr. Evers: Its five years.
Mr. Meyers: Five?
Mr. Evers: Five years.
Mr. Klammer: In the policy we can designate a retention schedule of how long we are going to keep it for. We can just put that right in there.
Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Spotton?
Mr. Spotton: Do the meeting minutes still be construed as the official record? The typed minutes?
Mr. Klammer: The minutes are the minutes, but the video would obviously….we adopt minutes because that’s Robert’s Rules. That is the official minutes of what happened. We all know that there are video tapes and people want go well that is quite what happened. So I would take the policy that we drafted and designate the Council President to determine who is going to be responsible for turning it on/off and getting it up online and it should work.
Mayor Morley: Have you asked Mentor where they put theirs?
Mr. Hoefle: He has not called me back yet. But they do have YouTube when I went on the website and you can see that it is on YouTube and that is where they have all of their meetings.
Mr. Klammer: Donate is there full-time.
Mayor Morley: That’s his job.
Mr. Hoefle: That is his job. It’s a full-time job to handle all of the social media and everything that goes on in the city. Ms. DePledge?
Ms. DePledge: Since you’re making me the designee so whoever wants to do it come to me. Get the equipment, get the person, test it out to see if it works, see the quality, and we can even look at it in Committee. If it works well and it’s something that everybody is okay with then we’ll run forward with it.
Mr. Klammer: Do a dry run.
Ms. DePledge: Whoever wants to take the lead on it, take the lead, it’s not my area of expertise. I know absolutely nothing about any of this and I’m not going to pretend too so whatever you guys want to do.
Mr. Spotton: Mr. Meyers and I will.
Ms. DePledge: If there is equipment and you want to purchase it we can talk to Ms. Schindel, the Mayor. I don’t think that a minimal…
Mayor Morley: Let me know if you want to talk to Donate and I can get a hold of him.
Chief Whittington: Does anybody know anything about…this is what you have plumbed into Council Chambers. It looks like it already had audio and it says record patch.
Mr. Evers: We have to turn the micro phones on three hours before a meeting to get them to work.
Mayor Morley: That is all set up…because there is one in the Finance Department and I think those cameras were set up for security.
Mr. Evers: It is for security.
Chief Whittington: Yeah but they also…that was the outside one. Again I think that…would have a better recollection of it when they dabbled with recording Council Meetings…that is why it is all plumbed in there already. So all you would have to do is attach a recording device and mount it somewhere. And then you could probably get a remote…so even if the Council President was at their position they could just hit the record button. That would turn on the camera and then when you’re done turn the camera off.
Mayor Morley: The one that’s in here when you walk in the front door are the cameras up there. When you walk into the Finance Department the camera is there.
Mr. Evers: That’s all security.
Chief Whittington: I’m just saying that it’s wired…I think that your biggest challenge when you get a recording device is running the wires. I’m just saying to you that I think you might be a little bit further ahead than you think you are. I think that they already ran all of the wiring in there to have a recording device. But again that is a guess.
Mr. Evers: I don’t think that they did.
Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Kasunick?
Mr. Kasunick: As far as wiring goes wiring has changed a lot over the years. Everything is digital now and probably when everything was hooked up in this building everything was probably all analog. There would be and issue with that.
Mr. Klammer: I think that we are over thinking the wiring.
Ms. DePledge: And with everything I think that everything is wireless. I don’t think that you really need to worry about wires anymore.
Mr. Klammer: The Council President under her leadership that is a good idea that you guys should drive around that and I will tweak the resolution in the mean time and hopefully the drive…and the resolution works.
Ms. DePledge: Ms. Schindel is there a way that we can allocate some funds for some equipment? Is there anything like that even a camera for $100.00 or anything?
Mr. Evers: That’s an Administrative thing.
Ms. DePledge: Well that is why I’m putting it on the table. I’m just asking.
Mayor Morley: We’re looking into a new server and that is about $15,000.00 to $20,000.00. So we are looking to do that. I don’t know if I would…camera but we can talk about that.
Ms. DePledge: Is there anything in the Council budget?
Mr. Klammer: Yeah it is probably a Council budget thing.
Ms. Schindel: I was going to say I think the Council Budget is probably thin. But I am certainly going to go back and look at it and see what we can do.
Mr. Evers: If Council’s budgets got money in it why don’t we fix the audio system?
Ms. DePledge: We don’t have that much money in it.
Mayor Morley: We need to get the hearing things and I talked to Mrs. Simons about that.
Mr. Evers: Yes.
Mr. Hoefle: Well from what I’m gathering here is that we’re going to…Mr. Spotton and Mr. Meyers are going to take the lead and do all of the research in regards to what kind of equipment we would need and any kind of costs involved. If you want to do some try runs just to see how it looks, if we do a dry run of a meeting is that going to be considered a public record then?
Mr. Klammer: Sure.
Mr. Hoefle: Mayor Morley?
Mayor Morley: Get me some prices on a camera and I will look at it through my budget also.
Mr. Hoefle: So we will let those two take the lead on that. One of the other questions that I had on it Mr. Klammer and I want to get a legal opinion from you is if we are going to do this as…that will take up a lot of…and what I’m questioning is when Mr. Meyers and we talked about this in the last meeting. If he is videotaping the BZA or the Planning Committee Meetings is that considered…he is an elected official should he be turning over the flash drive from that for records retention policies and procedures?
Mr. Klammer: My feeling is if Mr. Meyers or anyone of you guys is recording a meeting…you can say that you’re not doing it as a Council person, but you are. That’s a record so we have to at least have a copy of it and submit it to the City so somebody can retain it. You have the obligation to retain them yourselves, whether you keep them in your basement or not. My recommendation is that you would turn it over to the City so that it is recorded.
Mr. Hoefle: I just want to make sure that no matter who is doing it and not to point it on you Mr. Meyers, but if anyone of us were to do it I want to make sure that we are doing things correctly so we don’t have any issues down the road. Five years later if you’re not a Councilman anymore and someone says “hey I want to get the record of the BZA that Mr. Meyers”…we have to go hunt you down.
Mr. Klammer: I think that we can get it done.
Mr. Hoefle: So we will keep this in Committee and we will look…
Ms. DePledge: We will look for your report.
Social Media Policy
Mr. Hoefle: I started looking into that and I contacted the Mayor on it after looking at some of the other cities. A lot of the social media policies are actually an Administrative function it is not a Council to enact anything like that. The Mayor doesn’t have the staffing or anything…social media policies so I think that we are just going to take it off the table completely. Is that correct Mayor Morley?
Mr. Klammer: I would say the use of social media policy would address your issue of videotaping and putting it online. You have to have a social media policy to get online, because YouTube would be your social media tool. So Council would pass a resolution to approve the social media policy. I would have the Council Clerk designate who is going to record and do whatever for Council. And whoever he wants to designate for all other social media so be it.
Mayor Morley: I have no one to designate.
Mr. Klammer: I think that the social media policy will address everything in fell swoop. I shouldn’t be a problem.
Chief Whittington: We do have one in the Fire Department.
Mayor Morley: When we were looking at a social media policy my social media when I went to…conference was, if we were going to put a social media about our employee’s going on Facebook bashing the city, bashing other employees. That is what we looked at and when I read it and I looked at the Counties. You know what…I don’t think that we need a policy if someone puts something up inappropriate we’ll deal with it. That’s as simple as it is from…classes that I went to.
Mr. Klammer: Yeah but we need to have one that goes up there that is telling the residents that “look the comments don’t constitute official conduct of the City. This is not your official news.” Do you know what I mean? It is already drafted and I think that we can address items one and two if fell swoop. So I will work on that while you guys are working on the videotaping.
Ordinance Chapter 125 “Department of Finance” Section 125.11 “ Expenditure Limitation”
Mr. Hoefle: Ms. Schindel?
Ms. Schindel: I have provided you the Charter that says…out to bid which is a $50,000.00 limit. The Charter says up to $25,000.00 for the Finance Director to sign off on a purchase order and not have to go to Council for the purchase order blessing. The City of Eastlake currently is at $12,500.00 and I went to the other cities nearby. Willoughby Hills is at $25,000.00 and I didn’t put that on your list, Wickliffe is $25,000.00, and Painesville, Willoughby and Mentor are all at $50,000.00. Your Charter only allows $25,000.00, but today you are at $12,500.00. In other words anytime somebody needs something that’s in the budget…has been done before, but that one particular company we are going to spend $12,600.00 worth…I need to come to Council to get your blessing on it. So I’m just suggesting that you give some thought to whether or not you want to raise the $12,500.00. You can’t go any higher than $25,000.00, but should you wish to change or do you just want to flat out change it, do you want to say a Finance Committee Member should sign off on the purchase order. What do you want to do? But we do have a budget and it is passed in the beginning of the year. The Director’s know and lived within that budget. So it is a question of how much do you want to be involved in, in approving all of our repair bills, because that seems to be the biggest item that goes through.
Mr. Hoefle: Mayor Morley?
Mayor Morley: When the $12,500.00 was reduced from $25,000.00 when we were in fiscal emergency. And obviously we are not in fiscal emergency.
Mr. Klammer: Well we added that in.
Mayor Morley: It went to $12,500.00 because of fiscal emergency.
Mr. Klammer: We had this whole provision requiring Council approval no matter what for the concept.
Mr. Hoefle: And we do get provided…any kind of expenses over $5,000.00 anyways.
Ms. Schindel: Every month…yes.
Mr. Klammer: So it is just increasing it when the competitive bidding went up from $25,000.00 to $50,000.00 this should go up from $12,500.00 to $25,000.00. That way it will be consistent.
Mr. Hoefle: Are there any comments from anybody else? Mr. Evers?
Mr. Evers: These provisions were put into place yes when we were in fiscal emergency, but they were put into place for a specific reason. The behavior of previous Administrations and Finance Directors were atrocious. These were put into place to keep an eye on in…checks and balances. It’s not to say that who’s ever in that position in the future doesn’t do anything wrong, but it was put there for a reason. I suggest we keep it the way that it is. The other thing is two…here is another one if you want somebody on the Finance Committee to sign off on that…
Mayor Morley: I don’t…
Mr. Evers: Hear me out…that person has to be bonded and indemnified. Because if you don’t and something goes wrong that person could lose their house, their family, life savings and that is wrong.
Mayor Morley: Well we will take that off the table. My point is that you guys get every report of over $5,000.00. There is no reason to leave it at $12,500.00, but if that is what you choose to do that’s fine. I’m just saying this Administration has not shown any reason to have an issue. And when a new Administration comes in and someone sees something’s or you guys see the $5,000.00 and you see costs that you don’t like that we are spending within the budget, and then you change something. But we’ve not done anything or spent anything that we’ve not run by you. We run everything by you guys regardless of whether we have to or not.
Mr. Evers: Correct.
Mayor Morley: And we do that. I just think that the $25,000.00 is good, because of something last week when we had to wait two weeks to get the truck fixed. There are certain things that we need to do. I agree I don’t want…I told Ms. Schindel; she brought this up because they do it in Solon or where ever. I don’t want the Council person, because one I don’t want to have to bond them, and two it’s our job period.
Mr. Kasunick: How often is it that it comes up where it is something between $12,500.00 and $25,000.00? And what…I was going to ask for examples for when the lower threshold doesn’t make things to cumbersome on the Administration?
Ms. Schindel: Well the last six weeks you’ve had two repair bills that you basically had to approve. You had to approve Hughie’s and the truck.
Mr. Hoefle: That’s all money that’s in the budget anyways for it.
Ms. Schindel: It’s money that is in the budget that I spent.
Mayor Morley: Again we let you guys know. It’s not like we do it. We always let everyone know that “hey this is what we are doing.” It’s not that I do it…we do it as a city and just go by the way we did this. All of this money is already in the budget. If you guys see that we’re doing something wrong we need to change the ordinance. But at this time at least give us a chance to try it. You want to put a clause in it for six months or a year and then look at it again that’s fine. I just think that it’s something that you need to look at.
Mr. Hoefle: We’re getting monthly reports anyways.
Mayor Morley: Absolutely.
Mr. Evers: Again these were put into place for a specific reason. It doesn’t matter who is sitting there, whether they misuse it or not. Obviously the present Administration hasn’t miss abused it. But there were cases since we went into fiscal emergency that it needed to be in place before them and after them. And you are talking two different Administrations.
Mr. Hoefle: For me personally I think that we should be looking more towards the future and not worry about what we did in the past.
Mr. Evers: And that is why these were put into place. It was to protect the city in the future.
Mr. Hoefle: Ms. DePledge?
Ms. DePledge: Well I certainly understand why you want it raised, but we could probably do is obviously you have authority up to $12,500.00. If there is expenditure over $12,500.00 to up to your $25,000.00 limit, maybe just send an email to everybody. If there are any objections…everybody is aware of it then and there are no surprises, you guys still having the authority but we don’t have to come through Council anymore. Do a modification like that and just tweak it a little bit? So if anybody has any issues there is a flag going up. But you still have the authority to do it. It’s another…we still get our list of checks. If you ever look at your list of check you know exactly what is being spent on what.
Mayor Morley: You get that now…for the $5,000.00. If we want to send over an email saying that we’re fixing the truck for $18,000.00 I have no problem doing that.
Mr. Klammer: The issues is that if they said “no” and he has the right to say that “I don’t care we’re fixing that truck.” So what’s the point in sending emails around? It doesn’t mean anything because then everybody is in this weird position where….
Ms. DePledge: It’s just about communication and trust and keeping it going and keeping it fluid between Council and the Administration, which we didn’t always have and that we do have. It is just a way of communicating and making sure…nobody is going to say “no.” I think that if you guys had five expenditures of $24,900.00 in three months yeah there is going to be some problems and we are going to want to know about that. But if you…
Mr. Klammer: Can I tell you the truth I don’t remember why we did it. I was here through fiscal emergency. It was there for a reason, but it doesn’t make sense because you still can’t make any expenditure…anything more than half of the competitive bidding requirement. So at that time the competitive bidding requirement was $25,000.00 and we set it at $12,500.00 for some reason. I am guessing God bless Hill, Hilliard and Elshaw for their ideas. They wanted ten different steps on everything, but it doesn’t make any sense because we would have had a 50% competitive bidding requirement anyways for new expenditures. So why do we have to have that too. I just don’t remember why it was there. Now it’s a problem because the competitive bidding is 50%. You are protected up to $25,000.00 by the Charter. I don’t know why we matched the two, because one seemed in my mind to be enough. The Charter was enough. I just don’t remember what the genesis was.
Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Evers?
Mr. Evers: If I remember and my memory is going back to the Oversight Commission. Somebody spent $7,000.00 on a project and another $7,000.00, and another $7,000.00 and another $7,000.00, and another $7,000.00…and they exceed that amount by breaking it all up. And I thought that we put a stipulation in there….
Mr. Klammer: This wouldn’t have helped anyways because every contract would have been under $12,500.00. I really don’t remember why we did it. I’m sure there was a specific reason, but back then Hilliard and Elshaw had all of these strategies right?
Ms. DePledge: I remember it.
Mr. Klammer: I love them but we were really…
Mr. Hoefle: Ms. Schindel?
Ms. Schindel: Just another point…transparency has taken a big step forward then the last umpteen years since fiscal emergency. To the point where your checks are listed on the State website…you can go out there and maybe it’s not up to April, but you can go out there and look at every single check that it written and how the money is being spent. So there is a big push for transparency in today’s world and you are one of the fore fronts on that.
Mr. Hoefle: Are there any other questions from Council or the Administration? Committee would you like to move this forward to upping it to $25,000.00?
Mr. Spotton: I would just like to make a comment that with the current Administration I don’t really see an issue on it. I am kind of hesitant because of who knows what the future will bring with the next Administration and the next Finance Director. But being that we can go in and change it or Council can at the time go in and change it at any given time. I am okay with this.
Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Meyers?
Mr. Meyers: Can I got back to what Council President DePledge said about sending out emails and if somebody raised a red flag…I think that’s useful and I think that if somebody raised a red flag at that point would need to be kicked back to Council as opposed to just somebody saying “no.”
Ms. DePledge: It would. If there was a problem we would…if there was an email coming around and maybe it didn’t have a red flag with me and it had a red flag with you. You’re going call me or email me and get on the phone with Mayor Morley and say “hey we need to know what’s going on here. What does this mean?”
Mr. Klammer: I can’t draft an Ordinance.
Ms. DePledge: In reality that’s what’s going to happen and then we are going to be back here and we’re going to have a conversation about it. If we have to change things then we change things. But ultimately it’s just about talking. And if you have questions we always get the answer. I’ve never asked a question and not gotten an answer. I may not have liked the answer, but we always get the answer.
Mr. Klammer: Council does have the power of it first.
Mr. Meyers: I think that I have the same concerns that Mr. Spotton does. I think that we are fine with the current Administration and we don’t know what the future may hold.
Mr. Hoefle: Are you okay with moving it forward?
Mr. Meyers: Yes.
Mr. Hoefle: We will move it forward.
Mr. Klammer: Mrs. Simons just change 125.11…increase it from $12,500.00 to $25,000.00.
Fire Loss/Demolition Ordinance
Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Menn?
Mr. Menn: This came up and actually Ms. Schindel mentioned it to me. As long as I’ve been doing this I have never had to deal with such a thing. But we found out that there was a house fire not too long ago in our city and the insurance company turned a check into Ms. Schindel. She came over and asked me about it and I have to be honest I had no idea about it. So I looked into it and we found out that through the Ohio Codes that all of these other cities have ordinance’s to participate in the Ohio Department of Insurance Fire Loss Demolition Ordinance. Basically what it is…I went to Willoughby, Mentor, and Willowick and it looks like that are pretty much using the same language, but it is just a little bit different here and there. Basically what it is if there is a fire in our city and house….
Mr. Klammer: I hate to cut you off but we have this ordinance.
Mr. Menn: I don’t think so. No we are not part of this.
Mr. Klammer: I just wanted to cut you off before we go forever. I’m just writing it down.
Mr. Menn: I looked through here.
Ms. Schindel: They sent us a check.
Mr. Klammer: Then you tell them basically whether the building has been repaired or renovated, and secured.
Ms. Schindel: We will send it into the Department of Insurance so that we are officially getting that. Because up till now we are not listed under the Department of Insurance and the insurance companies look at this.
Mr. Klammer: I will double check the online version.
Mr. Menn: We didn’t see it because…but we want to at least mention that our city is not on here. All of the other surrounding cities were on here.
Ms. Schindel: The insurance companies aren’t following it because we are not listed.
Mr. Klammer: Because we’re not listed.
Ms. Schindel: On the insurance.
Mr. Klammer: We did have that fire with the doctor and we never got any money for that.
Mr. Menn: The problem is that the insurance companies weren’t recognizing this to automatically give us the money. That was the big problem. So we will look into it more and correct it with the state.
Ms. Schindel: Send them the ordinance.
Mr. Menn: Because we were the only city not recognized on it.
Mr. Klammer: I think that we have it, but I will double check the online ordinance and make sure. I didn’t want you to keep going…
Mr. Menn: Well the only thing that I was going to ask is that…
Mr. Hoefle: So we will take this off and you guys can do your research and if you need to address it again…
Ms. DePledge: Sounds like its all Administrative.
Mr. Hoefle: Leave it up to the Mayor let him take care of it.
There were no further questions or comments.
Mr. Hoefle: Everybody received the email that I sent out a few weeks back. We have the draft ordinance and our Police Chief and our Law Director both wanted to keep the guidelines in place as it is. I didn’t receive any kind of correspondence emails back to me in regards to it. If they wanted anything updated, so I’m looking at it as do we want to move it forward, or do we want to put it on the November ballot as is, or just scrap it all together? Are there any comments?
Mr. Spotton: I just wanted to say that this is the second time that this has been changed outside the committee and things have been dropped or added on this particular legislation. I don’t agree with that procedure or process.
Mr. Klammer: I’d change it or drop it.
Mr. Hoefle: We didn’t change it. What was changed?
Mr. Spotton: We discussed it in committee about having the Police Chief or his designee being able to make it more useable for people. The Police Chief sat that and said “there must be something that is useable.” We asked the Service Director at the time if this has been accelerating and he sat there and said “that it’s been accelerating in the amount of deer that he is picking up. And it is becoming more of a problem.” So we agreed to put it on the ballot as Mr. Kasunick wanted and we agreed to have that wiggle room within the person who is going to be running it. Now that’s removed I don’t think that it’s useful and I don’t want to move it forward.
Mr. Klammer: I don’t think I was at that meeting where it was discussed, but it was mentioned to me and talked to the Police Chief and he doesn’t want to be responsible for having to make that determination. So it was left the way that it was. So the version you have…
Mr. Spotton: That’s different then what was discussed at the Committee Meetings is what I’m saying. And after the fact we get an email saying that it’s been removed.
Mr. Klammer: It wasn’t in there in the first place.
Mr. Spotton: It was discussed at the meeting. And again that came up back in October out of the clear blue after the Ordinance Meeting was and now it’s going on the ballot. It was discussed with other members that weren’t even on the committee. That is the second time.
Mr. Klammer: I clarified that because I don’t want any bad will. When that came to me to do some drafting I made two proposals not one person on Council, that I can recall, asking anything about putting it on the ballot. So when I was pooling the various cities to see what they did, Harmer had put it on the ballot. So I proposed to everybody two different versions or two different theories. You can put it on the ballot or you can just do it. So there was not behind the scenes anything.
Mr. Spotton: I’m not directing comments directly to you on this.
Mr. Klammer: I just wanted to make sure. If I created any ill will by proposing the ballot…
Mr. Spotton: I’m just saying that in light of all that procedure issues I don’t think that it’s a useful situation right now. Maybe only a couple of people could do it. As of right now I don’t think that we should move it forward.
Mr. Klammer: It’s going to be though to come up with five acres or whatever it is.
Mr. Meyers: I agree if it’s not going to be useful legislation if we’re basically passing something…we’re just basically spinning our wheels. I don’t see the sense in putting it on the ballot.
Mr. Klammer: You know that you have the right to not put it on the ballot. You could pass the ordinance and you don’t have to put it on the ballot.
Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Kasunick?
Mr. Kasunick: I think a lot of times it’s a good idea to start things small scale…if somebody wants to change it later. If you start things…and it’s just a few people looking into it and that doesn’t cause problems then maybe you expand it out further so that more people can do it. I think that how science works. You test things in a lab and then you bring it out into the real world later. You do the same thing with the community. Start it so it’s just a…people I think would qualify for it who is interested in it. They mostly live around the rural drive area. There are some people their own some acreage and they would be interested. I think that would be a great place to do it. Even if it’s taking out some deer it’s going to help with some of the problems that the Service Director was talking about. I don’t see why it’s…just the fact that it’s just a few people that can do it. We can always change it later and we can discuss maybe doing it at some point in the Eastlake Garden Park. I think that…we could block it all off and go in there at five in the morning. It shouldn’t really disturb anybody so. Those are things that we can look at in the future, but I just don’t see why starting it small scale. Like I said we can always expand it later so that more people can do it. Why not see how it works within the community first in just a few locations and then you can change it later.
Mr. Hoefle: Ms. DePledge?
Ms. DePledge: On the legislation is…obviously there’s that five acre requirement, but it’s not just the homeowner who can cull. He can have other people come to his property to cull to right? So you’re not…
Mr. Hoefle: Just to refresh we were looking at three acres.
Mr. Evers: Three acres.
Mr. Klammer: Mr. Spotton brought up…everybody knows that practical problems and now you have to state this many feet from a house and that many feet from…it becomes hard to find a spot, but Mr. Kasunick’s idea…
Mr. Zuren: I think the biggest issue with it was the distance from a church or a school. Because that was the main thing that was changed, which put it to the point where it’s almost impossible to use in the city. I think that it went from 100 feet to 1,000 feet.
Mr. Hoeffel: I think that we had 1,000 feet from day one on any kind of schools, playgrounds…
Mr. Spotton: It’s been 1,000 feet from day one.
Ms. DePledge: It wouldn’t have been 100 feet. It would of never have been 100 feet.
Mr. Evers: It was always 1,000 feet.
Mr. Klammer: There was a misprint in there. One section was 100 feet. I remember us talking about that and it didn’t make sense.
Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Spotton?
Mr. Spotton: My angle always was that I’m not a hunter and I don’t know anything about it. I know that a bow and arrow are only effective for eighty feet at a twelve foot downward. If I’m allowing so and so to cull on my property…if they are ten feet or thirty feet from my house in a tree pointing away…I don’t know anything about it. If the Chief says or the person who he designates says that you’re okay you should be allowed to do that. Otherwise what are we doing here? Nobody is going to be able to fit into that little box.
Mr. Klammer: I agree it’s hard but I don’t know that much about it and I’m not a hunter. But that seems to be pretty standard. So I don’t know how it works in more bedroom communities like ours. I don’t know how it works.
Mr. Evers: The 1,000 feet was not about the hunter shooting the arrow. It’s about a wounded animal running off the property over to somewhere else where it didn’t belong. Mentor has had four documented cases where those deer have run over a quarter of a mile. I think that is where that came in.
Mr. Hoefle: Mayor Morley?
Mayor Morley: This is all that I’m going to do on this…do or get off. We had the guy from Wildlife here and he told you that it could be done. You choose as the Law Director has said to find every way to not do it. So instead of dragging it on make a decision and pull it off…either pull it off or move it forward. It’s painful to come to this every time we talk about this.
Ms. DePledge: Or let the people decide if they want it or not.
Mayor Morley: We still have to get the ordinance right. It has to be something useful and if you’re going to mull it around some more bring the Wildlife guy back in and get it done. Or don’t get it done. I know and I agree.
Mr. Klammer: They voted it’s done…Mr. Spotton and Mr. Meyers.
Mr. Zuren: If it’s not useful and we’re going to spend $18,000.00 to $25,000.00 to put it on the ballot then why are we doing that?
Mr. Evers: It wouldn’t cost anything to put it on the ballot in November.
Mr. Spotton: Chief Reik said that if it’s not useful and it does pass people are going to be upset.
Mayor Morley: I agree.
Mr. Spotton: It’s hard to do and it’s not going to impact hardly anybody so…
Mr. Hoefle: What does everybody want to do then?
Mr. Spotton: Table.
Ms. DePledge: You have to remove it from the agenda. It’s something that you no longer want to discuss. You don’t want to table it and put it back on the agenda. We want to remove it…its dead it’s removed from the agenda. It’s no longer an item.
Mr. Hoefle: We will remove the Deer Control issue and it is taken off of the table completely.
There were no further questions or comments.
Chapter 125 “Department of Finance” Section 125.04 “Certification Fees of Assessments”
Mr. Hoefle: Ms. Schindel?
Ms. Schindel: It is a really quick discussion. There is an ordinance 125.04 title companies call us and ask if there is an assessment or a future assessment on this property? We charge them a whole dollar in order to do that. Well you know what we found out that Willoughby, Mayfield, Wickliffe charges five dollars and Mentor doesn’t charge at all. So we’re charging a whole dollar…would anybody want to raise it to five? It was a big topic, but it is something that we deal with on a regular basis. They know automatically that they have to send a dollar, so they put it in an envelope and mail it to us. Let’s go with five.
Mr. Klammer: I guarantee that once Mentor realizes they aren’t charging that they will too.
Mr. Zuren: How much revenue does this bring to the city?
Ms. Schindel: I’m going to say that maybe we do get about fifty dollars worth.
Mr. Hoefle: Under 125.04 we will be changing that from one dollar to five dollars.
Ms. DePledge: Move forward and put it on Tuesday’s agenda?
Mr. Hoefle: Move if forward and put it on Tuesday’s agenda.
There were no further questions or comments.
RECOGNITION OF PUBLIC
There was no one who wished to speak.
Mayor Morley had nothing to report.
There were no questions or comments for the Mayor.
Chief Whittington had nothing to report.
There were not questions or comments for the Fire Chief.
Mr. Menn had nothing to report.
There were no questions or comments for the Chief Building Official.
Ms. Schindel had nothing to report.
There were no questions or comments for the Finance Director.
Mr. Klammer had nothing to report.
There were no questions or comments for the Law Director.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:36 p.m.