EASTLAKE CITY COUNCIL
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
OCTOBER 11, 2016
Due to technical difficulties the meeting was not recorded and the minutes are transferred via notes.
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 Ms. DePledge at approximately 7:04p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Members of Council in attendance were Mr. Zuren, Mr. Meyers, Mr. Kasunick, Mr. Spotton, Mr. Evers, Mr. Hoefle and Council President Ms. DePledge. Also in attendance was Council Clerk Mrs. Simons.
Those attending from the Administration were Mayor Morley, CBO Menn, Service Director Rubertino, City Engineer Gwydir, Finance Director Schindel and Law Director Klammer. Fire Chief Whittington and Police Chief Reik were absent and excused.
Ms. DePledge: If anyone is recording this meeting as courtesy to the public will you please identify yourself so that the fellow attendees know that it is being recorded.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Regular Council Meeting –September 27, 2016.
MOTION: Mr. Kasunick moved to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting September 27, 2016. Mr. Meyers seconded.
ROLL CALL: Yeas unanimous.
Motion carried. The minutes were approved.
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COUNCIL PRESIDENT’S REPORT – Ms. DePledge
Ms. DePledge: The next Council-as-a-Whole Committee Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. The Regular Council meeting will be convened immediately following the adjournment of the Council-as-a-Whole Committee meeting. Due to the election that is on Tuesday, November 8, 2016 a Motion will be made later in the Meeting to reschedule the Meeting to Tuesday, November 1. I would like to make a public announcement with regards to the task force for the Mayor’s Court research and investigation. The creations of a task force to review the possibility for developing a city impound lot. Interested residents may submit their resumes to the Mayor’s office or to the Clerk of Council’s office for consideration for appointment to those two entities. Only interested Eastlake residents can submit their resumes. Also on this evenings agenda is the third and final reading on the reciprocity tax modification. We have had meetings regarding the financial issues in this city. This Council since the beginning of January prior to that Mr. Evers, Mr. Hoefle and I have reviewed the city’s finances for the last seven years. Over the last several months we have discussed the issue of reciprocity. It has gone from a 7-0 vote to a 4-3 vote. Over the course of his public service as a Councilman and Mayor stated that he does not support modification to the reciprocity provision. I respect his position and I understand it and I commend you for it. He has also made it clear that unless Council proceeded unanimously he would veto this legislation. Knowing full well the positions of Council and the Mayor’s position a vote or the process of vetoing this legislation has now become a technical matter. I am not one for red tape or creating work where there shouldn’t be any. I spoke with the Mayor last night and he indicated to me that on a 4-3 vote he would in fact veto the legislation. It is not my intention to hang this Mayor out to dry or let him look like the bad guy to the employee’s of this city or to this Administration. We the Administration and Council are in this together and we have always been in too together. We have always worked as a team for the last three years. We can do better. I am pulling the issue of reciprocity from the agenda this evening and I am putting it back into the Finance Committee. It can continue to be discussed with other pending alternative financial issues. All members of the public and in particular Eastlake residents who genuinely care about our community are invited to review our budget, expenses and our revenue’s. And submit their implementable solutions to our current financial issues. That concludes my report and I am open for questions.
COMMUNICATIONS & PETITIONS
A communication from CBO Menn for the issuance of a Conditional Use Permit to Darren Hoernig to build an Accessory Building.
Ms. DePledge: This was discussed in Council-As-A-Whole and will be added to this evening’s agenda.
A communication from Finance Director Schindel to reappropriate for the expenses for the period beginning January 1, 2016 and ending December 31, 2016.
Ms. DePledge: This was discussed in Council-As-A-Whole and will be added to this evening’s agenda.
A communication from Councilman Zuren for laser traffic enforcement.
Ms. DePledge: This will be referred to the Finance Committee.
Ms. DePledge: An Ordinance Committee Meeting and a Finance Committee Meeting were held.
Ordinance Committee Report: Mr. Hoefle, Chair
Mr. Hoefle: Thank you Madam President and residents. An Ordinance Committee Meeting did meet last Tuesday, October 4. We have met several times throughout the year in regards to deer control in the city. We have met with ODNR and different individuals to get something hashed out. Some of the things that we talked about were how many acres, how many continues acres we would have, minimum feet from the property lines? We would also have to follow the ODNR instructions as well. Some of the changes that we were talking about were going from five acres down to three acres and also changing the parcels from two to possibly three or four with the discretion of the Police Chief or his designee. Along with changing the minimum yards from the property lines from two hundred yards down to one hundred yards or three hundred feet. Also changing the minimum yards an occupied structure from seventy-five yards to twenty yards or equivalent to sixty feet. And a minimum of one thousand feet from property lines of churches, schools and playgrounds. The penalty that we talked about would be up to a $1,000.00 fine, lost of the harvest and it would be as an unclassified misdemeanor. I am still working on getting all of the stuff together to present to our Law Director. I am also going to make sure that we have everything laid out. Since this could be a hot topic I am going to make sure that my article in the Eastlake Gazette is discussed so that every resident in the city will be aware of it. I would also like to ask that when we do have it out and everything is finalized by our Law Director that we at least go three readings on this as well. That will be my opinion and I am open for any questions.
Finance Committee Report: Mr. Evers, Chair
Mr. Evers: Thank you Madam President. As the Council President stated earlier we did have a Finance Committee Meeting last week. All members of Council were there along with the Mayor. The two items that were discussed were a Mayor’s Court in which they are looking for a committee for. That committee will consist of seven Eastlake residents. The other committee will be the possibility of looking at an impound lot. I think that we agreed that there would be five members for that committee. Again that will be five Eastlake residents. If anybody has an interest please get your resume over to the Mayor’s office or to the Clerk of Council’s office. We had one item on the agenda and it had to do with videotaping of Council Meetings. That is being held in committee by a 3-0 vote. All members of the committee agreed to hold it in committee upon further investigation of whether or not we can reactivate Channel 12 and use it in conjunction with YouTube. With that I am open for any questions.
Mr. Hoefle: I would just like to add to the deer control issue that we were discussing and I neglected to mention. Is that this would be archery only and it would be up in a tree stand. I believe that it is anywhere from ten to twelve feet in the tree stand. There will be no guns or anything like that it would be strictly archery. Thank you.
Ms. DePledge: Are there any of our liaisons or council member’s who wish to address the public at this time?
There were no further questions of Council.
Mr. Hoefle moved to add Legislation No. 10-11-(01) to this evening’s agenda an Ordinance authorizing the issuance of a Conditional Use Permit to Darren Hoernig to build an Accessory Building at 36360 Reeves Road, Eastlake, Ohio, 44095. Mr. Spotton second.
ROLL CALL: Yeas unanimous.
Motion carried Legislation No. 10-11-(01) is added to this evening’s agenda.
Mr. Evers move to add Legislation No. 10-11-(02) to this evening’s agenda an Ordinance to reappropriate for the expenses of the City of Eastlake, State of Ohio, for the period beginning January 1, 2016 and ending December 31, 2016. Mr. Hoefle second.
ROLL CALL: Yeas unanimous.
Motion carried Legislation No. 10-11-(02) is added to this evening’s agenda.
Mr. Hoefle move, pursuant to City of Eastlake Ordinance 111.01 “Rules of Council” to re-schedule the Tuesday, November 8, 2016 Council-as-a-Whole Committee Meeting and the Regular Council Meeting to Tuesday, November 1, 2016, with the Council-as-a-Whole Meeting being scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and the Regular Council Meeting to immediately follow the adjournment of the Council-as-a-Whole Committee meeting. Mr. Spotton second.
ROLL CALL: Yeas unanimous.
RECOGNITION OF THE PUBLIC
Ms. DePledge recognized the public input at this time; she 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.
Chris Schock, 35876 Hobbie Dr., Eastlake
Mr. Schock: I just want to touch real quickly on the reciprocity and not being able to hear what you had talked about did you guys do it or not do it?
Ms. DePledge: I pulled it from the agenda and it is going back in committee for further debate.
Mr. Schock: So it’s not done yet?
Ms. DePledge: No.
Mr. Schock: I just want to touch on it real quick. First of all I just have to tell you that the tax is not going to impact me personally. Because I am retired and within a very short period my wife will be retiring so it doesn’t have anything to do income wise with me and why I am here. I am here because I don’t believe that it is the right thing to do. I am going to tell you why. A number of years ago I and two Councilmen were trying to get an issue on the ballot. That mistake on Route 91 and Vine Street could go before the voters and to put it on a tax issue as to whether or not they want to have that thing built. As certain Council Member’s the last two and the Mayor which I cannot pronounce his name for I might become ill. Said “no” that you don’t need it to go on a tax issue and we know what is right for your citizens. We know and you don’t have to vote on it we know what is right for you people. You don’t know what is right for you people we know what is right for you people. You don’t have to vote on it. They went and got their bonds and they built that thing and we are paying for. Not me anymore I will be buried in the ground a long time before that thing will be paid off. All I am saying is that you were elected to represent the people of this city. A couple of years ago you put something on the ballot and they said no. Right or wrong I don’t agree with it because I believe that we need a good Police Department, Fire Department and a Service Department for sure because I am getting older. We need the money but you don’t tell the people that we are going to jam it down your throat. You tell the people and go to them and you put out a Safety Levy, a Police Levy and a Fire Levy and you sell it. You sell it the right way. You have the people behind you and you have a vote on it. You have them bring the money in that we need the proper way. You don’t tell them that we are going to…that this small group of people is going to tell all of these people in Eastlake that we know better than you and we are going to take your money and put it in. Whether we need it or not and the lord knows that we need it. But there is a way to do it. There is a right way and a wrong way. They did it a number of years ago the wrong way and we are all paying for it now. I am just asking for you to look at it and let’s do it the right way. Let’s go out and get the levies and sell the levies. Let’s be good Council people, a good Mayor and let’s be sales men. We can do it. There are enough of resident’s that want it and we can all get behind you and we can sell a good levy. Because we need the money and we want to make Eastlake strong. I have been here for forty years and I don’t want to see it. I am going to die here so I want to it good until they put me in the ground. Let’s make it good but don’t force it down their throat that is not the way to do it. Danny and Council did it and it was wrong and learn from it. Thank you.
Sue Kunsman 36263 N. Riverview Dr., Eastlake
Mrs. Kunsman: Even though the income tax issue is tabled for now and going back to the Finance Committee. I wrote something down and I just have to get it off of my chest and I am not going to be as harsh as he was. The resident’s are stuck in the DiLiberto area and it is difficult for us to over look the way that it has been done in the past. There is absolutely no trust in our leaders to do the right thing. You have to regain that trust, which is to be honest and transparent. To start possibly a letter should be sent to all of the resident’s home’s stating why they should trust all of you. Show exactly how much of our property tax goes to the city and what is given to the schools, parks, libraries ECT. And to list the expenses of what is needed to repair this city. These are only my suggestions, but I really think it is needed because somehow we have to turn this city around for the better, so that a property tax can be passes where it affects the entire resident’s. Second in regards to the 1% income tax…I admit that I do support it and I am starting to gain a little bit more trust with the leaders here. I also understand that the money is needed. My issue is that when I was August 30 meeting someone asked if a list could be put together of what is actually needed. I am almost positive that it was you or maybe it was Mr. Evers that asked the Service and our Safety Departments if they could put a list together. They said yes that they could. We haven’t even seen that and if you want to take extra money away from us I think that we have the right to know exactly where that money will be spent. That is all that I have to say.
Arlene Sawyer, 903 Woodstock Rd., Eastlake
Mrs. Sawyer: I think that speaker numbers one and two said what was on my heart. I think that you folks are here to represent the people and not to force something down our throats. Particularly such an unfair tax like reciprocity tax, it’s not fair. It is completely unbalanced and I am going to reiterate that I think you need to have a reason why. I’ve heard other comments out there and it may sound small such as why is the post office open? Is there an expense to that? There are things that you really need to look at. You really need to look at all of the little things and maybe some of the bigger things. You need to bring business in and I think that is why some of you were hired and we don’t see that happening and that is your job. Most of all you represent the people and they voted no to anymore taxes. You really need to be creative and it is hard on everyone in the city. I understand that and I know that when my husband died I had three little kids that were one, three and seven years old. I knew what that meant and it meant that my life was going to change along with theirs. So I did things that I would not normally have thought of sew my carpet, shoes or a hand bag. Use toothpaste to fill in a dent on a wall and I did a lot of things for well over ten years. My children grew up and said “gee I never knew that we were poor.” We had fun and we did things within a limited budget, but they didn’t know that we shared happy times. All I am saying is that you really have to take a look at where to cut that budget and where to bring in money. People have already spoken and they don’t want more taxes. I thank you for at least stopping tonight and giving it another consideration. I appreciate that and the issue of trust is a real big one. Not only presidentially but even in our own city. We would like you to represent our voice. Thank you.
Lorrie Davis, 1321 E. 351st Street, Eastlake
Ms. Davis: I didn’t prepare anything but I thank you for not making me say anything. I really appreciate the fact that you guys backed down. I was totally intending on appealing the thing. I really appreciate what the other constituents have said. I do what to point out one thing that I have noticed. Social media is not where I really like to be, however it is the future so I think that we should start going towards the future with social media. So that everybody knows what is going on in Eastlake, because I don’t read a paper. I probably refuse to read a paper. That is basically all that I have to say and thank you very much.
There was no one else who wished to speak.
LEGISLATION PROPOSED – First number will be 2016-049
10-11-(01) ORDINANCE NO: ___________
Requested by: Planning Commission
Sponsored by: Council
An Ordinance authorizing the issuance of a Conditional Use Permit to Darren Hoernig to build an Accessory Building at 36360 Reeves Road, Eastlake, Ohio, 44095, and declaring an emergency.
MOTION: Mr. Hoefle moved to suspend the rules requiring separate readings and reading in full. Mr. Spotton second.
ROLL CALL: Yeas unanimous.
MOTION: Mr. Hoefle moved to adopt. Mr. Spotton second.
ROLL CALL: Yeas unanimous.
Motion carried. Legislation is adopted as Resolution No. 2016-049.
10-11-(02) Ordinance No.:___________
Requested by: Finance Director Schindel
Sponsored by: Finance Committee
An Ordinance to reappropriate for the expenses of the City of Eastlake, State of Ohio, for the period beginning January 1, 2016 and ending December 31, 2016, and declaring an emergency.
MOTION: Mr. Evers moved to suspend the rules requiring separate readings and reading in full. Mr. Hoefle second.
ROLL CALL: Yeas unanimous.
MOTION: Mr. Evers moved to adopt. Mr. Hoefle second.
ROLL CALL: Yeas unanimous.
Motion carried. Legislation is adopted as Resolution No. 2016-050.
(Placed on First reading on September 13, 2016)
(Placed on Second Reading on September 27, 2016)
08-23-(02) ORDINANCE NO.: ___________
Requested by: Administration
Sponsored by: Finance Committee
An Ordinance amending Section 184.06 (A) “Credit For Tax Paid To Other Municipalities,” of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Eastlake, and declaring an emergency.
Ms. DePledge: This is the issue regarding reciprocity and it is pulled from this evening agenda and it is referred back into the Finance Committee for further discussion. I would welcome everyone here tonight to participate in that Finance Committee Meeting when we do have that discussion. Our budgets, expenses, and our income are all available online and we are thrilled that you are here tonight. We value your opinions and seek your input. You can contact anyone on Council, our Finance Director; you can go to the library and urge to pick up a copy of our budget. Look it over and bring us your ideas. We want to hear them.
09-27-(05) RESOLUTION NO.:__________________
Requested by: Administration
Sponsored by: Council
A Resolution granting permission from the City of Eastlake to the City of Willoughby to expend funds in an amount not to exceed Twenty-Two Thousand Dollars ($22,000.00), for the engineering costs for the Willoughby-Eastlake Water Pollution Control Center Equalization Basin Control Structure Rehabilitation Project, and declaring an emergency.
MOTION: Mr. Evers moved to suspend the rules requiring separate readings and reading in full. Mr. Hoefle second.
ROLL CALL: Yeas unanimous.
MOTION: Mr. Spotton moved to adopt. Mr. Evers second.
ROLL CALL: Yeas unanimous.
Motion carried. Legislation is adopted as Resolution No. 2016-051.
There was no Unfinished Business.
There was no New Business.
MAYOR/SAFETY DIRECTOR – Dennis Morley
Mayor Morley: Thank you Madam President and welcome residents. You threw me for a curve ball…
Ms. DePledge: I wasn’t going to let you go down alone.
Mayor Morley: Obviously I had what I was going to say and from what the President said I knew that there would possibly be a 4-3 vote and through all of the meeting I did say that if it was not a 7-0 vote I would veto it. I did plan on and I told my Director’s on Monday that if it became a 4-3 that I would veto it and that was my plan to announce it tonight. My employee’s and Director’s are very upset about it and they will continue to be upset that this did not go through. I understand their reasoning. I guess we will go on a little history since we talked a little bit about credibility, the stadium and everything else. Obviously the stadium is there and we are going to deal with it until 2031. The tough times for the people after me and them will be what to do in 2026 when the Captain’s lease is up and what to do in 2031 when the stadium is paid off. That stadium is going to have more ware and tare throughout the years. As a Councilman I always heard that part of the reason why none of the levies would pass is because the stadium built without. We could continue to blame the….
Ms. DePledge: Prior administration.
Mayor Morley: The prior administration and continue to blame the people in office now. Where I look at credibility and I will use myself as an example and I will use Mr. Hoefle and Ms. DePledge since we are the three longest standing left. I was elected four times; three were to Council and one as the Mayor. I look at that as I am hoping that the people in this city know that I have creditability. Ms. DePledge and Mr. Hoefle again are the two longest beside me for creditability. It could be that some people say on social media that we just aren’t good enough. But the people that sit behind those keyboards and say need to go and pull some petitions next if that is what they believe that they are better then what we have right now. I’ve been good and steady about this and try to not sit there and argue about the social media that we have out there that is against this city. They say that they are for our city but on that page everyone is not allowed to be a part of that page. When we continue to say that these guys are bad they don’t have the education or we don’t have this. The only reason that it came to reciprocity is because of what I am going to read to you next. This goes back eleven or ten years. Failed levies 5-2-06 General Levy failed, 11-8-11 General Levy failed, 3-6-12 where people say to separate them is a General Police and Fire failed, 11-6-12 General failed, Parks and Recreation 11-5-13 it was $1.47 a month, because that year was the big election for Mayor and as Council President and Council we shut the pool down. That was the big hefty thing out there it was $1.47 a month and if failed, Income tax 11-4-14 before we laid off another seventeen employee’s, forty-two employees since 2011 failed. In 2015 though the Willoughby-Eastlake Bond issue passed along with the Lakeland Levy, both failed in Eastlake. One out of the two cities that the schools failed was Willoughby Hills and Eastlake. Lakeland one of three cities were it failed. So what I am asking is as the Mayor and I am not going to speak for Council, and I do appreciate that they felt that they were hanging me out by being the one to make the veto. That is what I was elected to do is make the tough decisions and I will continue to make them. We have to get together in this community as a group and as a team like Ms. DePledge has said. We can continue in house…like the four new people I feel bad and they knew what they were coming into just like I did. They are passionate like I am. I love doing this job I really do. Am I frustrated at times and am I frustrated because I send my Police Chief to take care of garbage cans? Did I go to people’s houses that haven’t paid their garbage? Do I worry about my Chief going to Wal-Mart to deal…because we don’t have another crew to send out, when they are out dealing with the heroin…I do. I worry about our employees. Do I have faith and I do not agree since I was elected about forcing a tax down our resident’s throats. If we put another in May of next year we need the support of the people. This isn’t an issue that’s going to go away. Next year vote me out and vote the Council-at-Large out and then in a short nine months where these gentlemen are already getting abused we can say how bad they are. We can continue to do a cycle that eliminates all of us, but sooner or later no one is going to run for office in this city. Until someone has some money that sits in my seat, we are going to be here all the time. So you can get behind us and try to get a levy passed. We had a $15 Million revenue in 2006 we were at $9 Million. We could have a hundred more business come in here and unless they are $2 Million business we are still going to be sitting here. If the judgment of the city is the Vineyards and thinks that a couple of months ago I put in my article why the old Wal-Mart isn’t full and why Good Cents isn’t full. They continue…right now there is someone trying to go into the old Wal-Mart and it is not a retail store. It is a light manufacturing that they have been in negotiations with for a few months. Meijer’s was the store that wanted to go into the old Wal-Mart and they said no. We cannot force Wal-Mart to sell to a competitor. The same thing with the Vineyards in regards to Good Cents. Giant Eagle has a lease to about 2018 or 2019. With the deed restriction where they can’t sell food so the earliest that we will have a grocery store is in 2018-or 2019. Where we are striving is in our manufacturing and we continue to have expansions. We are meeting Thursday with End Press and they are going to build another 27,000 square feet facility across from the Radisson. We are working at it and when I am not working on garbage or neighbors that hate each other in the city every day, then I can work on economical development. I have a few people that working economic development and our residents are doing it for free. Our ECDC has been starting to work as a group to try and get some more business in here. It’s not just one person and Ms. DePledge said it best and I’ve also said the day I installed as Mayor on January 7, 2014. We have to continue to work as a team and this group and my Administration and we continue to try and do that. We will continue to try and do it and we will try to get money. Again folks we don’t come to you that many time because we just want to have money to spend. Any money that we get in here will be to stabilize. There isn’t going to be the money to be like Willowick and have the Recreation Department that they put $650,000.00 a year in to recreation. I will say it that it was brought up about the taxes…I will use the example of my house once again. My taxes are $3,300.00 and the city gets $259.00 out of the $3,300.00. When we talk about Willowick they have always talked to me…Willowick has another $.25 Mill recreation on the November 8th ballot. If that passes they will be at $19 Mills and we are at almost $7 Mills. They don’t get full credit. If we were at $19 Mills and not full credit we would be not as good as Willowick but we would have a lot more money. We’ve done the math and we’ve looked at the numbers and the numbers are there. Anyone can sit with Ms. Schindel and they can sit with me and we will go over the numbers. We are the most transparent city in this county. We are on checkbook and everything that we have is out there. Continue again to just beat us up and that is fine, but I am okay with it. I have a thick skin. I appreciate it and you didn’t have to do that and I do appreciate that as a team. The other thing that I am going to talk about tonight is that tomorrow starts the absentee ballot voting. We have Issue 1 on the ballot, which is the lease agreement with the city and the Croatian Home. It is also out there and it continues to say that that park will be closed down and you are going to have to pay to go to the park. We will still have baseball fields and other items out there for people to go too. Again will the soccer fields that the Lodge ends up doing will they have to be like Lost Nation Sports Park? Yes you will have to pay to go and use the fields just like you have to pay to go the pool and like you have to pay to rent out EPAL. We are out there saying that the park is not going to be able to be used, which is just wrong. There are always two sides to the story and unfortunately social media wins out in this city. People just sit on social media and continue…do you know how many calls I get on it none. But social media can sit there and continually say all of the things…I am hearing that we are corrupt now, because we want to get into an agreement with the lodge. It is none of the above. You are either going to stand behind us and get us going or we are going to continue to be this way. That is all that I have and I am open for questions.
There were no further questions of Mayor Morley
FIRE CHIEF – Ted Whittington
Chief Whittington: Thank you Madam President. Obviously I am disappointed. I think that beginning in January when we had budget hearings I was the one pushing because of what I see in the future. I think that over my eight and a half years I have a part of just about every levy that the Mayor mentioned. On my own personal time I worked hard and I made donations out of my personal money to help. I worked hard for all of those and none of them passed. I know that…I don’t know how many more times we can keep doing the same thing over and over again. I was a great big proponent of this because of the fact…again lying people off and we have shut down parts of City Hall, and we have taken away services. When we talk about a team the Council President mentioned everybody in this room, but the people that we didn’t mention are the employees that are actually out there doing the job every day. When you eliminate…I don’t know how many we have eliminated…almost three quarters of some departments and half of some departments. People in this city expect to have the same service over and over again. That means that people are doing two or three times the work. We have really ignored them to some extent. Because, what reciprocity will do for us this year is it would stabilize the departments. I am up for losing three more firemen. That takes me down to minimum of five and I have told everybody several times. I have said it publically and I done it…that I don’t think that we can handle the work load with five people. That means that there are going to be people that aren’t going to get services in a timely manner. There are a lot of residents here that are angry and I get it. There is probably no one on this panel that is angrier than me because of the way things go. I understand their frustration and their anger and it is probably from different sides of the table…my responsibility to them. If I feel that I can’t make that responsibility or worry about my people going out there every day being spread thin. I am going to be open to speak about that. If the future of this city is us stacking calls until we have the ambulances available. The future of this city is that I have to call other cities to borrow an ambulance when ours breaks down, because I’ve had to do that. If the future of this city is the fire engine that we are using now has to be plugged into an air compressor to us. If that is the city that the residents want they need to let me know, because I work very hard and my people work very hard to be a very high level service. It gets harder every day. I have been a big proponent of this and I think that we sit together at square one. Eight in a half years I have been at square one we make a little room and we go back to square one. We are not making any progress whether it is levies, or reciprocity, or talking to residents and Town Hall Meetings I have been a part of all of it. I think and again this is a tremendous set for this community. The hole that we have dug ourselves in over the last fifteen years it gets deeper every day. When we start making decisions for the future I think that we need to conscious of the employees. They get lost in everything. I know I’m going to speak for my people and I don’t know how much more they can actually do. I know that there are a lot of people that think that we should be doing more or whatever the case may be. I am just telling you that the demand that is put on us we are not going to be able to handle. I bring this up to a point…the other day we had another over dose in the Wal-Mart parking lot and I am there with the Police Chief. That is what we are doing every day. I shouldn’t have to go on an ambulance call and he shouldn’t be the patrol on a heroin over dose. Heroin is killing us. This is the reality of it. This is not me looking to increase my staffing this is me trying to stabilize the Fire Department. I work very hard and I am very frustrated. I am banging my head against the wall and I hear people talk and I understand what they are saying. At the same time what is the expectations out of me? If I can lower my expectations and that is what the city wants and that is what the administration wants just let me know that. I would be much better on my psyche knowing that I don’t have to meet such an expectation. That is hard for me because I am a professional and my people are professionals. I am certainly frustrated and I don’t know where we go from here. I am looking at layoffs and equipment that is failing and I don’t know what else to do. I spend a lot of time this year to get on record. So when the ambulance breaks down with a patient none of you can say that you didn’t know. The fire engine can’t go to a call because we can’t get air in it all of you know. If Ms. Smith doesn’t get that second ambulance call all of you know that. Everybody here knows that and I think that I have done my due diligence to let you know where we are heading. Other than that I am open for questions.
Ms. DePledge: Chief Whittington as always thank you for your comments and on behalf of Council I apologize.
Mr. Rubertino: You don’t need to apologize.
Ms. DePledge: I am the leader and we will figure this out somehow.
Mr. Rubertino: I commend you Chief.
There were no further questions of Chief Whittington
POLICE CHIEF – Larry Reik
Chief Reik: No one here is as eloquent as the Fire Chief as we all know he does things off the cuff better than most of us do by getting our thoughts in order. My take and there will be some overlap the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. A 7-0 meeting about six or seven weeks ago that the Fire Chief and I walked out of and thought that we finally got our point across. We finally explained that every other alternative has been taken. With former Council President Mr. D’Ambrosio and the Mayor we had conversations and I expressed their concerns that they didn’t want to ask for a levy and force reciprocity and I got all of that. In five and a half going on six years as Chief you go back to that first November when I became Chief a couple hundred bucks per house hold is what we were asking and we would have none of these problems. It’s not like we haven’t tried some of these different things. The Director’s are told often that we have the appreciation of the Council and Mayor, but now we need the support and that is what seems to be lacking. We can get all of the pats on the back and this is what the Fire and Police Chief’s are doing. The Service Director had to report illegal dumping complaint to the Police Chief today, so those two people a mild illegal dumping issue. Like everything else even though we have gone from thirty-eight to twenty-two guys the quality of life issues that go to Council and come to the Police Department have not changed. We still get the neighbor is blowing grass in my yard and pulling up plowing stacks and all of those things. Not one Councilman has ever written back to the person to my knowledge to say to bad. This is not the type of service that you are saying that you want. This is the type of service…asking for but this is not the type of service you are paying for. You don’t go to the restaurant and order a five dollar hamburger and expect a thirty dollar steak. That is what we have been doing for my five and a half years and beyond. Not only are we not telling people we can’t provide that. We are creating new programs…we are talking about deer culling. We are doing more things that we are putting on our plate and we are saying it is a great idea, because there is a need for all of these things. But we are actually considering doing more even though we are saying yeah I know you don’t want to pay anymore and we’re just not going to do it. When we get a phone call or the Fire Chief gets a phone call in dispatch…we don’t get a levy or no levy light that comes on to say this person has always voted for the levies they should get the service and this person doesn’t. Unfortunately a lot of services I think worldwide especially law enforcement go to the people that are probably paying the least into the system. On average I think that you will see that. We don’t have that choice of where we go and what we do. Whether we have been somewhere five times or fifty times we have to go. I know that the Mayor touched on social media; we have had a lot of help with it. With our Facebook page identifying people. We just applied for a couple of warrants the other day. We get a lot of good tips and information. On the flip side it is still local government. When people read something they tend to believe it more than just somebody telling them. Now with social media all you have to do is type it out and someone else reads it and it goes and becomes viral. We saw with this stupid clown thing that we dealt with. My entire day because three sixth grade girls shared a scary clown photo and I have to deal with every new outlet and it took up my entire day. Regardless if I was trying to look for a grant that day or someone else came in, those things got put on hold because this is not the crisis of the day. That has to be managed not knowing that walking in that morning. All of the misinformation that even all of the news channels get it wrong and it just goes on and on. With the social media I encourage people is that if you have a question there are some decent ideas at time that you will see out there, but if someone just wants to disband the paramedics so they don’t babysit people. Or have a radar only police officer and they want to block legislation get all of the information. Put the information out there and trying to get people to think a certain way. Put the information out there and let people make their own decision. The people who are thinking about some of these ideas, which have some merit on their own call me, Chief Whittington and Mr. Rubertino and find out if we wrote twenty tickets a day. How much money would that bring into the Police Department? I was talking with a guy today thirteen tickets a day would probably cover the cost of that police officer, if that is all that he did for eight hours. Thirteen is still a decent number and once people know that you are there it becomes more and more difficult. I’ve always encouraged and told people that we are not a revenue producer. Fines are a byproduct of law enforcement. I never thought that we should be the tax collector’s going out there and doing things for that purpose alone. There is obviously the anger from four mayors ago. I have used this analogy in the past if you keep beating your fourth wife for what your first wife did to you, sooner or later you got to get over it. If you can’t get over it you have to move or move up here and take it over. I can’t pay any more money and we all understand that there are costs associated with things. You either have to be a part of the solution or when these people are up here…personally they are failing is they are a representative of government. They are supposed to represent their wards not just one person with the squeaky wheel or person who has the saddest story. I think by going 4-3 I don’t think that they are taking and making the hard decision and saying whatever the byproduct is it is. Every time I do my job and he does his job and any other director’s as well, with ours dealing with life and death issues we know that this is…I have to do this because this could be the byproduct if I don’t do it. For the people who are telling us that you have to sell a levy and show people where the money is going, find places to cut, it is very admirable that this the meeting that you came to express those views and you are well within your right to say those things. But we have been doing that for so many years. This isn’t a paper clip and copy paper type of solution. I’ve gotten things about NRA grant to try and apply for. The problem is having time to apply for that. You out of volunteers exactly their commitment is whatever that may be. Last but not least we are asking business like Meijer’s…and everyone got the idea of what business should come in and why aren’t they investing in our city? If I’m a business owner and I am looking at the last ten, fifteen or twenty years of zero levies being passed and saying why would I invest in a community that is not willing to invest in themselves? Unfortunately that seems to be the case here. I have been a twenty-four year resident and police officer and in the last five years I have seen it directly and trying to get out there and explain what needs to be done. We seem to have pretty good support to our face…I don’t know what happens behind closed doors and I don’t know how we could be more responsive or more transparent. I peers aren’t and I know that his peers aren’t nearly as responsive and transparent as we are without…they have double and sometimes triple the resources. What else do the people want I don’t get. I know that they are going to want that squad; I know when their kid over doses, the kid steals for heroin or whatever the case they are going to want the service then. I’ve had people tell that I don’t want to hear that you don’t have enough people. Well then don’t ask the question as to why it took fifteen, twenty or thirty minutes to show up somewhere. Unfortunately we’re not allowed nor would I want to give the standard response of well you didn’t pass the levy. We don’t do that and it’s not the right thing to do and it is defiantly the time when someone is in need. At some point people have to decide that this is what is acceptable and they have to decide that I have to do the right thing regardless of the consequences. Because when I go to bed at night I have to know that when I left office I did the right thing. That is what I try to do on a daily and career basis. That is all that I have.
Ms. DePledge: Mr. Zuren?
Mr. Zuren: I just wanted to update everybody regarding a Finance Committee Meeting that occurred three weeks ago. Regarding the issue of a levy there was an issue of a levy and it was called a Safety Levy. The Finance Committee Meeting decided not to proceed with it so I called for a meeting with the citizens at Jakse Park about two weeks ago regarding a Fire Levy. There was a discussion of a $2 Mill Fire Levy, which was equated to somewhere around $900,000.00. Just for informational purposes there were thirteen people there. There were multiple Council people that were there. Everyone was very excited to go out and donate their time to collect signatures for a citizen’s initiative. I went down to the Board of Elections twice and found out that we can do and initiative to put a levy on the ballot. It can only be on the November election. We cannot do anything but the November election. If we put a levy on at any other time it would have to be through Council. I want to make this publicly known so that both of the Chief’s know that this has occurred. There will be another meeting. I am going down to the Board of Elections this week to have them review the paper work for the initiative. It would be a lot easier if Council passed or got behind a levy so that we could put it on the May ballot. I believe that there is a lot of support and I know that it is desperately needed. This would be one way to possibly retain the three firemen and to help with some of the other issues that are in the three main departments. Thank you.
Ms. DePledge: Are there any questions for Councilman Zuren? Mr. Evers?
Mr. Evers: What was the vote in the Finance Committee Meeting to keep it in Finance?
Mr. Zuren: It was 3-0.
Mr. Evers: It was 3-0 and the members of that committee?
Mr. Zuren: I was one of the members of the committee.
Mr. Evers: I was also.
Mr. Zuren: There was no support for it.
Mr. Evers: The vote was 3-0 to hold it in committee. Was it not?
Mr. Zuren: I was told to go ahead and take it…
Ms. DePledge: Gentlemen the fact on the record is the vote. Mr. Zuren the vote in the committee was 3-0. Anybody can vote 2-1 or 1-2. The vote was 3-0 that is the fact that remains on the record. It remains in committee and it is still open for discussion. Prior to Mr. Zuren’s comment and Mr. Evers question in the middle of Chief Reik’s commentary Vice President Hoefle asked if he could make a comment and I said certainly. Mr. Hoefle?
Mr. Hoefle: Thank you Madam President. As everybody is aware and I am not sure if everybody is aware of it now but I was fully in support of the reciprocity and I still am. Just a little bit of history that I am a fifty plus year resident of the city and my great grandmother used to live on Vine Street where the old China Buffet is. I am coming close to serving seven years on Council and I have served five years on the BZA and two years sitting in the back of the room just like everyone else back here. I am Vice President and Chair of many committees. I do not take the decision lightly and I have worked very hard to provide as much information to Council and to the Administration regarding my research. Believe me I do a lot of research and everybody especially former Councilman Mr. D’Ambrosio, Councilman Evers and Councilwoman DePledge they understand and know that I dig deep and I look for a lot of information. With regards to the reciprocity credit this was a matter that has been addressed in many meetings with a lot of great dialog. All of the Director’s have presented their concerns currently and for the future. Are there other municipalities throughout the State of Ohio that do not offer a full credit? The answer is yes and there are 323 to be exact. Has the City of Eastlake instituted a reduction to the credit in the past and also reversed it? The answer again is yes. Would the additional revenue assistance stabilizing our community? Yes. Would the additional revenue assistant addressing the long list of infrastructure issues? Yes. Will the additional revenue support our Police, Fire, Service and other areas throughout the city? Yes. Would the Council and the Administration continue to revisit previously identified revenue ceremonies and continue to explore other ideas as they are brought forward that could adjust the reciprocity credit down the road? Yes. Would the additional revenue provide for the three most vital areas of our community? And that is public health, safety and welfare and the answer to that would be yes. I can live with myself being the person who gives the credit but I would not be able to sleep at night knowing that I did not do everything in my power to support our city. Each and every one of us was elected to represent our city and to make the tough decisions. We need to provide our first responders and the service workers with the proper staffing and resources to serve and protect. That concludes my statement.
There were no further questions of Chief Reik.
CHIEF BUILDING OFFICIAL – David Menn
Mr. Menn: I don’t think that I can add much since I have only been around a couple of years. I just want everyone to know that I do support the other Director’s and obviously they have spoken for their needs. We all have needs and how we get there I don’t know. Whatever help we can get eventually we need it.
There were no questions of Mr. Menn.
SERVICE DIRECTOR – Nick Rubertino
Mr. Rubertino: Good evening everybody. I am extremely disappointed. I think that when we had a Finance Committee Meeting, which the second one. I made it very clear that we have been through this…for my twenty-five years as an employee and a resident of this city. Seeing everything that was presented, this has been presented multiple, multiple times and with no satisfaction. The levies don’t go. You are voted to come in here and be the judge and jury for the majority of the city not the minority. The last three Council Meetings that we have had…the residents that have come out I believe it is a total of eleven that have spoke against reciprocity. I have never seen most of them at any other meetings, but they came out for this one. Social media obviously has an input on that. Whenever we say something or I say something it is always interpreted as a threat. I am not treating anybody. I am telling you that what we have is not enough. When the snow comes the treats are not treats. It is going to happen…we have sustained ourselves over the past eight years with run down equipment. It is rusted out and falling apart and fixing it on a daily basis. We are spending thousands and thousands of dollars to repair machinery that should not be repaired just to keep ourselves a float. When the work doesn’t come and the when Councilmen get the calls this winter or this fall and they want to know where the snow plows are you can kindly tell them that they are in the shop getting fixed. I don’t have enough guys to put on the road. I have twelve guys…twenty hour snow storms…I have six guys on a rotation. Two of them are mechanics that shouldn’t even be on the road. They go on the road when the mechanics are down which is never. They are leaving trucks and equipment broken down to get out there to try and clean the roads that we are getting no support on. There is no support. I looked forward to you guys…especially the four new people coming in here hoping that somewhere along the lines it does change. You are the spokesman for the majority and I think that unfortunately you have taken the minorities vote. That is the way that you are going with it. It offends me and it might not be the right thing to say but it does. I have always been 100% dedicated to this community. I love Eastlake and I don’t think that they love us. I am telling you we work our butts off to get things done around here. There is never any kind words for us only what else can you do for me. When the time comes I hope that you take the phone calls and you explain why you choose to go the route that you choose. Even though that history has shown that it doesn’t work. This Mayor’s Court and traffic enforcement lasers don’t work…there is no fruition to it you can explain to them why. Reciprocity would have gotten us through to the point where you could still continue to find things and try to get a levy out there to see if it passes. Then take off of the reciprocity, but you choose to take the other route. I am really sorry to hear that and I hope that things continue to go forward but I am really optimistic about it. I am very, very disappointed and I am open for questions or comments that you would like to make to me.
There were no further questions of Mr. Rubertino.
CITY ENGINEER – Tom Gwydir
Mr. Gwydir had no report this evening.
There were no questions of Mr. Gwydir.
FINANCE DIRECTOR – Carol-Ann Schindel
Ms. Schindel: To repeat what was said before the financial statements are on the internet. I am happy to entertain any questions if people have them. Any of the Director’s would be happy to give you a tour of the equipment should you desire to see it.
There were no questions of Ms. Schindel.
LAW DIRECTOR – Randy Klammer
Mr. Klammer: Thank you Madam President members of Council and Mayor. From a legal stand point as an advisor to members of Council, Council President, Mayor and some of the Director’s I sit with these folks on a daily basis and I see their frustration. I hear their frustration. In sense one of the examples was tonight they say that the same person will call me two days in a row with a different opinion on any one issue the same person. Tonight we saw some people that stood up and opposition or clapped in support of the opposition. Clapped and supported the Mayor when he finished his comments and then clapped is support of the Fire Chief when he finished his comments. Some of the same people who are opposed to the reciprocity idea then cheered for the Fire Chief when he expressed his criticisms of those opposed to the reciprocity. These folks are just in such an impossible position that I wish there was a tad bit of sympathy from those who criticized them. To understand all of the different feelings, concepts and ideas that they are trying to balance to make the best judgment for the city and unfortunately we have things like the social media. The Mayor has come to me about what do I do about the social media? The Chief’s have come to me about the social media? My answer to them has to be you can’t engage in social media. Because that is not the place for a public debate and it is not dignified and decorum that you would expect from an elected officials, so by design they are avoiding these public debates on Facebook and social media. What you are then left with are people who claim that they are here to help the city, start websites and Facebook pages. Express just their opinions without coming to the Mayor. Then everybody criticizes them not debating with these people on social media. To a certain degree that is my advice to them as well that they shouldn’t engage in there. We have public meetings with the Fire Chief, Police Chief and with the CPA as our Finance Director and with all of these people with good judgment. These debates should happen at City Council Meetings, which is where they should always happen and they shouldn’t happen on social media. You get people who want to say that they are here to help but they don’t want to listen to any other idea. They say that they are just here to help but they don’t want to listen to the experience of the Chief’s. They say that they are here to help but they don’t want to listen to the experience of the CPA who is our Finance Director. They start websites and then in a lot of cases after they start those websites they move from the city. We have that a lot so that is just my opinion. I am open for questions.
Ms. DePledge: Mr. Evers?
Mr. Evers: We had a Halloween Car Cruise here this weekend. It was a beautiful turn out. I would like to thank the car cruiser’s that did it and all of the people that participated. During the cruise they did a 50/50 raffle. The car cruiser’s donated $383.00 to the Boulevard of Flags as of tonight and I would like to thank you for that. I would also like to remind everybody that we have a resident here in Eastlake that has started a Potluck Dinner for Sunday, October 16. Bring a dish to share or it is $5.00 at the door. It is a chance to sit down with your neighbor’s and some of your city officials and talk. Everybody is welcome…Eastlake residents and with that I am done.
Ms. DePledge: Thank you everyone for coming this evening. I hope that you have learned something and that you take something away from our meeting this evening.
There were no questions of Mr. Klammer.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:13 p.m.
KEN HOEFLE, COUNCIL VICE PRESIDENT
TRACY M. SIMONS, CLERK OF COUNCIL