SPECIAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 1995 AT 7:00 PM EST
BOARD OF DIRECTORS ROOM - TOLL GATE FARM
28115 MEADOWBROOK ROAD
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM with Mayor McLallen presiding.
ROLL CALL: Council Members: Crawford (present), Mason (absent), Mitzel (present), Pope (present) Schmid (present), Toth (present) and Mayor McLallen (present)
Present (6) Absent (1-Mason*)
*Councilwoman Mason arrived at 7:45 PM.
ALSO PRESENT: Edward F. Kriewall - City Manager (at 8:00)
Jim Wahl - Director of Community Development
Geraldine Stipp - City Clerk
Mayor Mc Lallen advised the purpose of this meeting was the continuation of the Goal Session and because of the time constraints, several other issues had been added to the agenda.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Councilman Pope asked to move Item #4 and #5 up and then go to Item #1. He said he hesitated on Item #3 because Councilwoman Mason should have input on it.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Crawford
Seconded by Councilman Schmid
That the agenda be approved as amended.
Yes (6) No (0) Absent (1-Mason) Motion carried
4. Claims and Accounts - Warrant No. 431
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Crawford
Seconded by Councilman Schmid
That Claims and Accounts Warrant #431 in the amount of $328,427.92 be approved.
Yes (5) No (1-Toth) Absent (1-Mason) Motion carried
5. Schedule an Executive Session to follow this meeting to discuss parkland acquisition.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Crawford
Seconded by Councilman Mitzel
That an Executive Session be scheduled following this meeting to discuss Parkland Acquisition.
Yes (6) No (0) Absent (1-Mason) Motion carried
1. Continuation of Goal Session - Strategy "95"
Marlene Fluharty, Director of Americana Foundation was facilitating the meeting; she presented her mini agenda.
1. Observations from the process Council went through and what came back on their rating sheet.
2. The results of the rating sheets.
3. Comparison to Major challenges
She asked them to look at the comparison of the top 5 vote getters and compare them to the 12 major challenges from the last session.
4. Follow up work
She had some information on some of the items on the other pages that were turned in that might help if Council wanted to do some follow up work.
Ms. Fluharty said as long as they remained confidential in expressing what it was they felt, there would be very different results than what they would get in a very formal public meeting where some of their constituents might be watching them. She said when people were able to vote and keep it confidential, often the true feelings of what really was important was what came out. As she told them at the last session, Council members all had common ground and that came through quite clearly in the result. She asked Council if they had any observations to the process they had gone through.
Councilman Schmid thought that it was difficult picking out 3 or 5 choices. He said he needed to key in on 2 or 3 items, several might have been important to lesser degrees so he had difficulty doing it; it just didn't seem completed to him.
Councilman Toth asked why it wasn't just ranked from 1 to 10 or 1 to 15. He felt it might have been a little easier if he could have picked the ones that were top ones and ranked them in some kind of descending order.
Ms. Fluharty said it was just another way of doing it and there was no reason for it.
Mayor McLallen said that one of the things that came out after talking about it was Council felt very similar about where they wanted to go but they were having difficulty achieving that. In the later part of the evening they came up with so many good things that they were trying to accomplish which perhaps were not their function. She said she thought that was very clarifying that they could see what it was they wanted to happen but Council was not the group that was going to hands-on make it happen. They have to be able to tell the group that will do it how they want it to happen. She said that was part of the problem; they have not articulated to that particular group what they wanted to happen.
Ms. Fluharty said these were their lists and they could choose the one that was the top vote getter and just deal with that and when they were done with that, they could go back and look at the next one. She said it was up to Council as to how they wanted to do it. She said these lists will all be available to Council and they can go back and reassess or use them as one task was completed under one heading and decide which was next to be tackled.
Ms. Fluharty shared the results with Council advising them of the top vote getters on the first page. On the second page were the action item things Council could do fairly quickly. She said page 3 were Meeting Guidelines and they were all equal and they all involved developing groundrules and guidelines for meetings. The bottom of the page were personal choices although they could be written into some form of ground rules. The last page were those items which Council needed to spend time clarifying some of the terms and deciding exactly what the problem was they wanted to address with these statements.
The #1 priority was tracking and follow through on issues and follow up and closure of complaints, requests and directives.
Mayor McLallen said the results show the tracking issue was a significant issue to everyone. She asked since it came under Operations did that mean they put that one aside and say we need to formulate a plan or did they now sit down and decide what they needed to do to make it a reality.
Ms. Fluharty said there were two things they could do - since this was #1, they could spend some time developing an implementation plan to decide how they were going to accomplish this, who was going to be in charge, what time frame, and who would Council delegate things to.
She said the other option was to discuss the other four statements which had equal weight. Ms. Fluharty said when Council came together the first night they expressed their expectations to set as many as 5 priorities for 1995. She said these should be discussed as to why they are important and then after a set time, she would pass out ballots and Council could vote on them to set the priorities for the year.
Councilman Schmid asked why they would want 4 or 5 priorities for the year; why not 15. He said many of these items were not something council would actually work at - many of them were directions to Administration who would be doing the majority of the work.
Ms. Fluharty said that this was what she was told the first night that Council wanted to do.
Councilman Mitzel said the first night Council decided that none of these would be dropped but they would start with focusing on 4 or 5 priorities and get clear direction and when that was going, to get something else started and work it through. He said they had to take bites they could handle.
Councilman Toth said out of the first 12 Operations that were Council Directives, only 5 received a mark of 3 or more. He said if they just focused on those, he felt Councilman Schmid was right - they could just issue a directive and have the staff do it.
Councilman Pope said maybe tonight they could try to give staff a little better direction of what they were looking for. He said that they want to track and follow the issues was obvious, but what we say on paper could be better defined with staff.
Councilman Toth said the problem is Council is getting into micro-managing. He said Council should issue a directive and ask for a plan for tracking it and then let them solve it. Councilman Toth said it irritates him that it is not done in a very systematic way.
Mayor McLallen said perhaps the systematic way is what needs to be defined.
Councilman Schmid said the decision is to give it to someone and have them come up with a system or give them 30 days to come back with something.
Mayor McLallen said that is the issue. She said no one has ever been given a deadline and with consequences if it was not met or a reward if it is met.
Councilman Mitzel said we did that last summer in regard to following up on complaints. He said it started for awhile and then fizzled off. He asked Mr. Kriewall why we weren't tracking all the requests and he said you just asked for complaints not projects, not requests, etc.
Ms. Fluharty said one of the problems seems to be the differentiation of how much direction is good clear direction and how much is micro-managing.
Councilman Schmid said normally in business you send a memo and describe what you want and issue it as an order to be complied with. One of the most popular ones for awhile was the AVO's, Avoid Verbal Orders where you would write it out, pass it on to somebody and they took it from there. He said the problem here is we have said this vocally, it is recorded in the minutes, but it has not been picked up. He said our problem is how do we make sure it is picked up.
Ms. Fluharty said when you are trying to solve a problem and you are giving directions, our verbal and written communications are anything but perfect. She said we have to make concerted efforts to be clear. She said when you are going to delegate things you have to be clear about what you want. She said if the first directive was have staff track complaints and that is all they tracked, that is all you asked for. If you want more than that you have to say more than that. She said you have to be clear on what action you want taken, what time frame and who is responsible for seeing that it happens.
Ms. Fluharty said if it is something Council is doing you need to map out your plan step by step of what is going to happen and who is going to do each step within that time frame. If it is something Council is delegating and you trust the people you are delegating to you can say "here is the clear action we want taken, we want you to bring back a plan/system to track everything by this day, so and so is responsible." She said then you will have someone on staff who will evaluate this and make sure it is happening and report to Council. She said you let them figure out what the process is.
Councilman Schmid said now you have stepped over the line here to the Administrative side because the person responsible for it gets their assignment from the City Manager.
Ms. Fluharty said then the responsible person is the City Manager and he works with the staff to figure out how to do the directive that came from the Council.
Mayor McLallen said in essence this whole thing is the policy function of the Council, and they have some difficulty in making it happen to their satisfaction so they had to figure out how to formulate the policy that would enable this to be done.
Councilman Pope described areas of concern that council members had questions about that were voiced to administration but those questions were never answered and he didn't see any follow through by administration on their concerns or citizen complaints.
Councilman Mitzel asked if they had heard anything about the ice arena since last September; he said there is not only their questions during Manager's or Attorney's Reports but matters that they refer for action or property acquisitions they have questions on that they never receive reports back.
Councilman Pope commented that he wasn't sure where the idea of monthly reports came from but they didn't give him any of the information he wanted.
Ms. Fluharty said follow through on directives and questions seemed to be their number one priority - now they had to decide what it was they wanted done, not particularly how.
Councilman Mitzel said he would like every issue to be recorded so that way nothing fell through the cracks. Members asked what an issue was, and Mr. Mitzel said any request by a council member or members during the meeting, an action of council - such as anything approved, tabled or referred to a committee - and any citizen inquiries during a council meeting or a letter to council.
Councilman Toth commented they had to consider projected time to complete and actual closure time. If a citizen had a problem affected by weather conditions, they might have to wait several months.
Councilman Crawford said they were asking for a report on status so they knew something was still under consideration.
Mayor McLallen asked if they were looking for was that all the responsibility would lie with the city manager and he could assign it to the appropriate person or department. There was a consensus on this point. She said in some cases, people keep bringing the same things up because they aren't happy with the answer. She asked what kind of criteria they were going to put on that when the majority felt an issue was closed or dead, but the minority or an individual did not - at what point were they going to be done with it.
Councilman Toth said he felt that was up to the City Manager because if he didn't have the budget or the staff, he would have to bring it back to council.
Councilman Mitzel said he felt these situations were in the minority although there were some good examples - in which case, especially if it was from a citizen, the Council would have to say they have responded the best they could, they have taken all the action they could although it might not be to someone's satisfaction.
Councilwoman Mason arrived at 7:45 PM.
Councilman Toth asked if a council member contacted the City Manager and asked for some information or asked him to do something, how would that get disseminated to the rest of them.
Councilman Mitzel said with the tracking system, they would see that a member requested information, and Councilman Toth added if it was giving a tracking number and put on a follow-up list. Councilman Pope said that would solve the problem that Mr. Mitzel raised; if one of them asked a question, all of them should get the answer.
Mayor McLallen said perhaps it was time for council's purposes to not have full blown monthly reports duplicated 25 ways if the information was not of a benefit to them and if a tracking system would be more of a benefit.
Councilman Mitzel explained how he tracked status of projects at his work through the use of spread sheets and members stated that the items should include an estimated completion time and remain on the sheet until they were resolved.
Councilwoman Mason said she would like to see a way that council members could access the spread sheet through a terminal to follow an item without receiving volumes of paper.
Councilman Toth asked who was going to write up the policy directives. There was a consensus that the discussion was enough to give administration the frame work.
Councilwoman Mason reminded them of the police officer who complained about the traffic around the Expo Center at the Council meeting; she said that was an on-going three year traffic complaint and nothing is ever done about it. Councilman Schmid said that was a very serious issue but it couldn't be answered in one line or fixed in a few minutes. He said he didn't know how to address that issue. Councilwoman Mason said last year it was agreed that the Expo Center would pay police personnel overtime and they wouldn't wait to see if there was congestion, but this year there were no extra police - so nothing was done.
Councilman Toth said to take this same issue, the City Manager would handle this by making it an action item. The City Manager would meet with staff and work out a solution and send letters to Blair and the staff involved and all he would put on the list would be see letters on ---- date; that way, they could look at the list without the details.
Councilwoman Mason said what about an issue like this that happens every year where the council directs something to be done and it is not done. Council members noted this was the purpose of a tracking system. Councilman Mitzel said if things stayed on the list for a long time with no progress, they could start raising questions about what could be done to get something resolved.
Mayor McLallen asked if when they put something in the system, could they give it a time frame and members agreed.
Marty Fluharty said they wanted the item listed, an estimated completion time, who had it, what action has been taken, what referrals have been made and then final results or completion date.
Councilman Mitzel said what he envisioned was sending this to the City Manager and he would work to get something together and over a couple months use, council members could make suggestions and all the bugs would be ironed out.
Marty Fluharty asked how soon they wanted the city manager to come back with a status report on what kind of plan and tracking system and how he was coming along. Council agreed on the second meeting in March.
(Mr. Kriewall arrived)
The next item indicated by council members was a new process for evaluation of employees hired by Council as well as Consultants' performance.
Councilman Pope asked if this was saying that people didn't like the system they had now for consultants or they just wanted to add the three direct employees to how they do consultants.
Councilman Mitzel said he didn't like the system they had for either one; he felt that all seven council members should evaluate direct employees with the committee maybe doing the background work.
Councilwoman Mason noted that last year only she and Councilman Schmid met with the City Manager and went over everything but there was really nothing they could do about it. They went over the shortfalls and the City Manager told them what he thought he excelled at. She said that should probably have been put down somewhere by somebody.
Councilman Mitzel said they did get a written report but he thought it would have been better if all council members had been together to hear the other person's point.
Councilman Schmid said it probably hasn't been done that way because that opened it up for a general open meeting; it was noted that an employee could ask for a closed meeting if he preferred.
Ms. Fluharty said it sounded like the Council was dissatisfied with the system they were using - they wanted a new system. She said there were a lot of ways to do an employee evaluation; one was to set annual goals that are done sometimes with a committee and a staff person. She said the staff person writes down their goals for the coming year and the Council or the bosses write down their goals for them. She said when the committee gets together with the person they negotiate those goals. She said they have to be measurable goals ie., "I will implement a tracking system in 1995." If everyone agrees to that then you have sort of a mini contract with the staff person. At the end of the year these goals can be reviewed to see if they were met and it gives indications of the performance of the staff person. Ms. Fluharty stressed the importance of when they were setting goals for employee evaluation that they be measurable goals. They cannot be subjective.
Ms. Fluharty asked how they would solve this problem that they have identified.
Councilman Pope said he thought it could go to the Consultant Review Committee that was already established. He also thought the City Manager Evaluation Committee was going to come back with a new system but it didn't.
Councilman Toth said if he was a Consultant to the City he would come in and sell the City on what he would do for the City. He said he would put forth measurable goals that the City should then take.
Ms. Fluharty said if they could look at these measurable goals that the Consultant says he would do for them, the City Council could then say we want you to do those goals but we also want you to do these. She said that together they could agree what that list of things were. Then, at the end of the period of contract both parties will have the check list that they agreed to. She felt it would be wise to not limit a progress check to just once a year. In six months there could be a check to see where things were.
Councilwoman Mason said therein lies the problem. Don't we have a 1 year contract with the consultant.
Councilman Toth said they basically have a verbal agreement.
Councilman Schmid asked if they were talking about consultants, too, and members said they were. He said he thought some were critical of the system reviewed tonight and he could appreciate that. He said he had done at least 15,000 goal setting meetings in the last 30 years; he did them every year with all the management and staff and reviewed them once or twice a year. He said it was effective but it was easier in a company or corporation where there are measurable means. He thought this could be done with a Manager but not with the consultants. He felt the present system worked with the consultants because we give them an over view of how Council thinks they are doing. He asked how do you set goals for the planner.
Councilman Mitzel said he was not thinking so much of goals but when we enter into a retainer agreement with a consultant, they tell us the services they will provide. He said with all the consultants we have a formal retainer that says what the services are that they will provide and that would be what our review would be based on. He said his frustration was that we never sit down with the full Council at one point and talk it over with that person. He said with the Manager, Clerk, and Assessor, the ones that directly report to the Council, we could put down formal goals but it would be a different situation than the consultants.
Councilwoman Mason asked Mr. Kriewall how often the consultants signed a contract with the City, and Mr. Kriewall said they really didn't, they served at the pleasure of council. She said so basically every year we do not sign a retainer even though we retain them. She felt that was the first problem. She felt that every single year every person that is retained by this City should sign a contract annually with the City. She said we don't know what we can expect for that big retainer we are paying out every year. She said we do not have a sheet that says David Fried will give us these 35 things for that $90,000 and we have to start doing that.
Mayor McLallen said she knew that Birchler-Arroyo and Brandon Rogers do have a format that says this covers X number of meetings at City Hall, etc.
Councilwoman Mason said that was all the way back from when they started with us a long time ago. She asked if that shouldn't be reviewed. Mr. Kriewall said Consultant Review Committee does that every year. Councilwoman Mason said she was on Consultant Review Committee two years ago, and it was not reviewed - what was expected and the retainer. She never saw anything when she was on the Committee.
Councilman Toth said she had a good point. It was not an agreement but a document supplied by the consultant. Councilwoman Mason said she felt they should enter into a retainer agreement with every consultant.
Councilman Mitzel suggested this information be put in one book so we could see what each consultant was supposed to do for us.
Ms. Fluharty asked what the City budget was and members said it was $14 or $15 Million. She said in her book that was one big business and that was what they were running. Councilman Crawford commented that Council was doing a pretty good job, and Ms. Fluharty said absolutely they were doing a very good job and there was a lot of work to do in the short period of time allotted. She asked what they wanted to do with this. She asked who was the Consultant Committee right now, and no one was sure. Ms. Fluharty said this was an example of one of the problems.
Councilman Mitzel suggested that the Consultant Review Committee for now go through the review they have normally done, but before the fiscal year starts, the Consultant Review Committee and the Manager Review the Committee and report back to Council on a proposed system to be implemented during the fiscal year. He felt the reviews would make more sense from fiscal year to fiscal year because that was how the budget ran.
Ms. Fluharty asked the Council when they wanted that information before them, and Councilman Mitzel said by budget adoption in Mid-May and Councilman Toth said they could draft something up by the 1st of April. Ms. Fluharty asked who was the one person responsible on this Council to make sure that by April 1st this was in front of Council. Councilman Mitzel said there were two-three person committees.
Mayor McLallen asked if council had any strong feelings one way or the other to move from the retainer situation into a full blown contract. Councilwoman Mason said she felt the retainer should be acknowledged by council or city manager signature and by someone in the consulting firm.
The next item was Ordinance Review.
Members discussed whether money had been set aside to review zoning ordinances and who was doing it; Councilwoman Mason commented that last year council said Brandon Rogers should review them but he said that was not part of his retainer. Somebody was supposed to come back to council and tell them whether or not it was part of his retainer but she didn't remember getting an answer.
Members said they did get a letter from the city attorney saying that it wasn't part of the retainer. It was discussed whether the Ordinance Review Committee should do the review but that would involve enormous amounts of time. Councilman Toth suggested appointing a citizens committee to do the review.
Councilman Pope asked for clarification of what the problem was with Ordinance Review.
Councilwoman Mason said there were a lot of ordinances on the books that they regularly had to say to the consulting attorney did not fit what the city was doing so he had to add or subtract from them like liquor licenses. Members debated that they couldn't go through and change all the ordinances to fit every situation, and Councilwoman Mason said when ordinances no longer applied or needed to be changed, they shouldn't have to pay the attorney to do that when it came to the council table and something was wrong and it would get everyone into trouble. She said there should be a committee looking through this giant ordinance book saying we haven't used this in years, and Councilman Mitzel gave examples of ordinances that needed updating.
Mr. Mitzel said his point was he didn't know if anyone had ever taken the time to actually read everything on the books; Councilman Schmid said they had done that in 1984 with the zoning ordinance and it was a major, major project. He said if once in a while an ordinance came up that they didn't like or the attorney says has something wrong, then the Ordinance Review Committee should look at that. Councilman Mitzel said his point was he felt it should be done on a regular basis otherwise it would be overwhelming again; they should just go through and when things came up with a red flag, they should decide what they wanted to do.
Councilman Mitzel said the second part of this was comprehensive enforcement which was a concern for him. He said when they reacted to a complaint and then knew that one instance had been resolved, did anyone drive around to see if likewise similar things have been taken care of. Councilman Schmid asked if that shouldn't be the ordinance enforcement officers. Councilman Mitzel said he wasn't sure who enforced all of them. He said the thing that came up was, along with uniform enforcement, maybe some things were not enforceable.
Councilman Toth said he didn't feel they needed to go cover to cover every decade but maybe a committee could be put together to look at selected areas; Councilman Mitzel noted that the Department of Public Services was going through a review of Chapter 11 because they were the experts and they knew it hadn't been done for a while just to make sure it was conforming.
Councilman Pope said it was not wrong for them to change an ordinance when they saw a problem with it - that was the legislative process and it was not wrong but he did not agree with putting staff and everyone to all the work of going through the whole book. He said he would support the two members of council who were in favor of doing it, and Mayor McLallen said in terms of time she did not think the council could accomplish this as lay people and she did not think they wanted to fund it on a professional level.
Marty Fluharty said so far they had expressed three alternatives: 1-Ordinance Committee would review
2-A citizens committee would review
3-Handle them as they came up
Councilman Mitzel said he ranked this one; he had seen a couple examples come up. He said maybe the Mayor was right and the resources were not there to do something like this, but his concern was still with the enforcement issue and his other concern was did they have obsolete ordinances. He said maybe the ones that were obsolete were being taken care of. His frustration came when they were at a meeting and he asked if the criteria in the ordinance or charter had been met and was told by administration or consultants that they didn't do it that way because it was obsolete, etc. He said maybe what he was looking for was a way that could be diverted from the council table beforehand - someone in administration or council to catch things that were going to be a problem when it came up at a meeting where they have to follow criteria. He said at that point, get it fixed or address the issue.
Marty Fluharty clarified that the problem he saw was that the criteria that should be met as outlined in an existing ordinance was something they didn't do any more or was different.
Councilman Crawford said he couldn't think of many examples but he did agree in part that a lot of times there were things before council and they didn't have the proper criteria by ordinance but he felt that was kind of a different problem. He did not think reviewing the ordinance would solve that. He added that he would not be in favor of a citizens review of the ordinances because he didn't think they needed a comprehensive review; he said one of the reasons they were here as council members was to update and change ordinances that were brought to their attention and needed that.
He said if there were other ordinances that didn't necessarily come to the council table but the Ordinance Review Committee might be aware of from staff members, then he felt it was incumbent upon them to do what they thought needed to be done and bring it to council. He said that was really why that committee was in existence, however, their charge has changed somewhat over the years. Councilman Crawford said he felt the system as it now worked was working pretty well.
Councilman Pope explained that the committee's charge was to review ordinances, and Councilwoman Mason said then what they were doing every meeting was wrong. She said what they were doing was listening to people complain every month about ordinances; they have never had time to review any ordinances and she asked who he would recommend for that. Councilman Pope said he felt they could still do it - one chapter at a time as their first order of business for the first twenty minutes. He added that staff was not part of the committee and often times came very ill prepared so the same issue would have to be addressed multiple times.
Marty Fluharty said that left redoing the agenda so the committee was in charge and had control of the agenda.
Mayor McLallen said she agreed; she felt the real problem was that they didn't define what was "review." The expectations were different for every person that spoke and they also came back to the other issue of having the staff make sure that the information that reached council was complete and well prepared.
Councilwoman Mason said they didn't follow what the Charter said. When things came to council, the Charter says they are supposed to be in the condition for them to pass on. They are not supposed to move houses around, decide on wetlands, etc. She said developers do push the Planning Department into allowing them to come in front of council when they have many different things to get done and that has to be changed. They are not following the Charter or the way they are supposed to be doing things. She said this was a passing body, not a development body, or a micromanagement body. Everything is supposed to be complete when it comes to council for them to review it.
Ms. Fluharty asked if they wanted the Ordinance Review Committee to come up with a clear description of the work they want to accomplish or that council members want them to accomplish.
Councilman Pope said he felt the committee could write their own mission statement and bring it back.
Councilman Schmid said he felt they were creating a paper war that would involve hundreds of hours. He said right now they couldn't even get all the council members to take ten minutes to fill out the manager's or consultant review committee report once a year. He said they had to be careful not to get bogged down with staff running all over creating more reports. That would be fine if council members were full time and had a staff.
Mayor McLallen said that was why she suggested sticking with five things they had time and money to accomplish in twelve months.
Councilman Mitzel said he wanted to advocate that the committee tell the staff to rewrite Chapter 1 of the ordinance. He said if there was a desire of the majority of council to follow Mr. Pope's suggestion of looking at a part of the ordinance every meeting to see if there was anything that could be a problem and bringing that to council to officially refer it to the committee for work, he thought that would work well and be a better use of staff, consultant and committee time.
Councilwoman Mason noted that the committee was set up to review ordinances so everything they were doing - listening to complaints, ordinance officers, attorneys, etc. - was all outside of what they should be doing so she was in favor of taking 20 minutes at the beginning of each meeting.
Councilman Toth noted that so far they have spent two hours on three items and at this rate it would take six months to go through the list. He felt they needed to come up with a better action plan because there were a lot of things he wanted to discuss rather than ordinances right now.
Ms. Fluharty said what they have done thus far is mapped out a plan - who is responsible, in what time frame, and how it was to be done to handle these first three items. She said this was their template.
Ms. Fluharty suggested they spend ten minutes each on the next two items and then decide where to go from there. She said they had not dealt with the enforcement things, and Councilman Schmid said it seemed that should be a goal of the City Manager that he assure there is enforcement. Ms. Fluharty added, or comes up with a plan to ensure that.
After a brief discussion and some disagreement, members decided to move on to the next item - Provide training for all boards to ensure understanding of their responsibility, limitations, etc.
Mayor McLallen said this was a goal of the council- all people appointed to boards need to have as part of their acceptance of the position an understanding that they will have to go through a training period with the staff responsible for the Board creating the process as well as the Boards providing input. Councilman Mitzel said he felt understanding of the Open Meetings Act was of first importance; Councilman Crawford added that according to the note received, what policies council has adopted, the Boards and Commissions had to adhere to also.
Ms. Fluharty asked how they would track this to make sure it happened-who was responsible? Councilman Crawford said via the City Manager to the department heads that deal directly with the Boards and Commissions; he suggested a report to council on how they were going to do it, i.e., seminars.
Councilman Mitzel said since only three members listed this, was there consensus that they should pursue this.
Councilman Schmid said he felt it was important; he was concerned especially with the Planning Commission and ZBA. He said there were pretty hard and fast rules of what the ZBA was to do and he would like the City Attorney to draft a paper that suggested what was within the realm of the authority of the ZBA. He felt sometimes they got beyond that realm.
Councilman Schmid said he further believed that the Planning Commission got into policy making when they should be planning and basing their opinions on the ordinances and planning and not get into what was good or bad about an ordinance once the ordinance was there. He said they could recommend changes to an ordinance but he had trouble with them changing it in the middle of a meeting and giving variances to developers when the ordinance specifies what they had to have.
Councilman Toth said he would like to see a formal training process document from each Department Head responsible for a Board. Anyone appointed would attend this training process or be removed.
Ms. Fluharty said this was part of council's direction to the City Manager; not only to direct staff to do these things but also for the City Manager to make sure that each department head had a plan and tracks the training of people on the Board.
Consensus was to have the City Manager put a directive out within 30 days to the department heads and training plans would be completed by June 30th so council could look at them.
The next item was: Develop long range strategy for funding capital equipment and infrastructure improvements and maintenance.
Councilman Mitzel said the city had a Capital Improvements Plan but they didn't use it and it has never been a significant document. He said he could either envision this to actually take the place of the Capital Improvements Plan or becoming something like the stormwater perpetual maintenance endowment fund. He said they knew the time was coming when they would have to start replacing roads and sewers and dump trucks. He suggested some sort of investment endowment type fund so the long range health of the city was taken care of.
Mayor McLallen said this issue was brought up by the auditors in January as something council might want to look at in its current budget cycle - creating a new fund. She said legally there was a way to do it and asked if there was consensus to direct the city manager to bring back what it would take legally to set up this kind of fund.
Councilman Toth said there was already a road fund established with millage and tax dollars going into it and it was based on a five year program. He said there were water and sewer funds waiting for that infrastructure, money was in an account for stormwater infrastructure, and he asked what else was missing.
Councilman Mitzel said they had a sewer fund but it was not really set aside for the purpose of replacing the system in 40 or 50 years. Councilman Toth said the fund was there although the interest was being used.
Councilman Mitzel said they didn't have anything that was addressing capital equipment right now other than capital improvements.
Councilwoman Mason said who knew what it would cost to replace pipes at Ten Mile and Haggerty - the city's oldest pipes - if something major happened. They have never earmarked water and sewer funds and said they would be set aside and never gone into because they knew how much it would cost. She said the same thing was true with the road bond program; she said there was only one way they could put in Taft Road because there was only enough money for one way - she questioned how that had happened when they had a $13 million bond issue passed that should have covered everything.
Councilwoman Mason said no one was watching these pockets of money and putting them in their own little window; it was all being put together.
Councilman Toth noted there were pockets of money and funds set up. Councilwoman Mason asked for a computer printout tomorrow of the entire amount of money in the Road Program Road Fund and every single penny accounted for in different pockets. Mr. Kriewall said it couldn't be done like that Councilwoman Mason said that was the problem - they just looked at total money.
Councilman Toth said what she was talking about was a financial audit trail.
Marty Fluharty said what they were talking about was the need for a financial audit trail, set-asides for emergencies.... Councilman Crawford said that was why they had a 10% or 15% contingency of their fund balance set aside for emergencies.
Councilwoman Mason said she meant did they have specific money set aside that would never be touched except to replace water and sewer pipes at Ten and Haggerty.
Mayor McLallen said she thought the issue was did they want to direct staff to find the legal parameters for establishing a brand new fund as initially presented by the auditors directed toward capital improvements.
Councilwoman Mason said she didn't mean a totally new fund; she meant let's find out how much is there, let's begin to find out when things would wear out, and let's begin to find out what it would cost to replace. She said if that meant they had to take money each year and put it in a fund to supplement the water & sewer fund, then that was what they must do but right now they had no idea of what they needed.
Marty Fluharty said then she was talking about life cycle costs and projections for replacement and repair for the entire infrastructure; Councilman Mason said she was mainly concerned with water and sewer because that was the oldest underground thing that they didn't know anything about.
Councilman Crawford questioned what it would cost for those projections and how could that be done. Councilwoman Mason felt JCK could do that with the computer. Councilman Crawford said if they did that and found they needed $20 million in fifteen years, what would they do about it. Councilwoman Mason said then they would look at the funds available that could be set aside and if more were needed, then they would have to do some long range budgeting and planning. Councilman Mitzel noted that was what they did for stormwater.
Councilman Schmid said he agreed and that would be ideal but stormwater had unlimited funds; he said incidentally, where was a line item that showed where that money was going.
Councilman Mitzel said that was part of this issue; he didn't know if they needed a separate fund or had the fund. He said maybe what they needed was different management but he felt this was something they should look at.
Councilman Schmid said he was curious about what was said about a capital equipment replacement fund. Mr. Kriewall said it was setting up a capital replacement fund for the rolling stock - heavy equipment, trucks, etc. and they would have to fund that. Councilman Mitzel said what would happen in the long range was instead of funding $100,000 one year for dump trucks and pickup trucks, once the fund was up and running, it would cover that expense.
Councilman Pope said he wouldn't support that because they would play games with it - it would no longer need five votes because if $100,000 was put into the capital improvement fund, it was now appropriated and four votes could send that money out.
Councilman Schmid said he understood his point but how would they ever get the money to buy large items; he asked if they shouldn't have a long range planning fund.
Mayor McLallen said the issue she brought up was just to charge someone with letting them know the mechanics and the up side and the down side of creating a new fund. She said her question was would it be more responsible to save a nickel this year instead of cutting something out to get the $2.00 next year - which was a better plan and that was the question she wanted answered. There was a consensus on this issue.
Councilman Crawford asked where the capital improvement program fit into this; he said that identified some funding like grants, etc. and it also identified long range needs like a snow plow in five years, and then it was up to them to be aware of that and set aside some money in the budget process over the next five years. He felt this addressed the problem they were talking about.
Councilman Mitzel said it seemed to address the problem, but he didn't think they have been using it.
Councilman Toth said a good example was a fire truck costing over $200,000 and members commented that was in the fire & police millage and that was what it was set up for.
Councilwoman Mason said she had to leave soon and Councilman Toth said he was leaving at 10:00.
Councilman Crawford said it was really difficult to adjust schedules when everybody had to leave at certain times. He said they were elected to do a job and that didn't mean leaving at 9 or 10 or not coming because you were tired. Councilwoman Mason commented that she thought the Charter said she had to be at two meetings a month in her elected position, and Councilman Crawford said the Charter said they would have a minimum of two - it didn't say anything about how many others they would have.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope,
Seconded by Councilman Mitzel,
To amend the agenda to go to item #3 - Schedule Special Meetings.
Yes (7) No (0) Motion carried unanimously
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope,
Seconded by Councilman Crawford,
That the following executive session and special meetings be scheduled:
a. Executive Session 6:00 PM, February 27th-Pending litigation, property acquisition for fire station
b. Special Meeting-Council Rules-6:30 PM to 8:00 PM on February 27th
c. Special Meeting-Vistas Project-Thursday, March 2nd at 7:30 PM
d. Special Meeting-Council Rules-6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on March 6th.
Yes (6) No (1-Mason) Motion carried
Marty Fluharty said when Councilwoman Mason said she was leaving, Councilman Crawford got angry and other people expressed some feelings either by their body language or sign. She said this was something that happened to them on a regular basis and they could deal with it in a number of ways.
She said they could set up agreed upon guidelines for their meetings that said if somebody wanted to leave at a certain time, that's their prerogative but the rest of them would stick to the agenda or modify the agenda to accommodate them or whatever.
Ms. Fluharty said another option was to ignore it when somebody left and somebody else got angry.
She said those were choices and her only job as a facilitator was to call their attention to things that happen and in this case, this was one thing they all said was important to them - that their meetings were not pleasant places to be 100% of the time and they would like to see it change. She said this was the perfect example of one of the things they could do if they decided they wanted to.
Councilwoman Mason said that she felt no matter who left or if someone didn't show up for some reason, then there had to be snide remarks about that person and that shouldn't be. She said they were all their own people, doing what they had to do in life and they shouldn't by anger try to control other people. She said it came from not being able to control yourself.
Marty Fluharty said it came from not having guidelines they all agreed on as to what they were going to do and so to make sure people don't get upset, they try to accommodate them and some people just get more angry and that was not healthy and counter-productive because it made them feel a lot of animosity among each other.
Mayor McLallen said they could establish that as long as a quorum was present, they would continue with the meeting. She said this council has a desire to have everybody present for everything and if everybody was not there, then this activity happens. She said if they could establish that legally they need four bodies for 90% of their work or five for money matters and if the other two or three bodies couldn't be there, that was fine. She said they have never addressed that. They have gone out of their way to change schedules so that all seven people were there and as they have just learned, it was not making them happy. She said they thought it would make them happy because they wanted to be good guys and accommodate and it has had the absolutely worse effect - they are angry because one gets to go home and the rest have to stay because one had the guts to stand up and say they were leaving.
Councilman Pope said that wasn't his reaction. He said this was the goals time, a time to plant the seeds so they could work as a team, and he would rather stay until midnight without television at this meeting. He said that was why he was disappointed last time when she wasn't able to be here and couldn't stay now. He said he understood that but the problem he had was agreeing they could operate with four was a trust factor. He said suddenly four people were setting the schedule of when seven were supposed to be there and then all of them couldn't be there. He said that has happened to him when he wasn't at a meeting and it broke down the trust so that was why it was not OK when there is four people.
Councilwoman Mason said she was elected to go to two meetings a month and she understood there would be a lot more things in her life for Council. She said she was comfortable with the good job she did in the community and the meetings she attended and she was comfortable with the way she related to the people on this council, but she worked a different kind of job than most of them did. She said she knew what she desired to do with her life and knew what her goals were and her main goal when she ran for council was to represent the people and she did that very well. She said her other goal at the same time was to support herself and she did that very well; she said she was not going to let an elected office and extra meetings that other people plan interfere with either what she did in the community or what she did to support herself. She said in her opinion, they have too many meetings and they end up with a lot of animosity and a lot of people trying to push their opinions on someone else.
Councilwoman Mason said she lived within the goals of her life and she knew what she had to do and she knew at 9:30 when she was tired and wanted to go home, that was what she was going to do. She said it didn't matter what people said or did, she was secure enough to know that she was doing what she was elected to do for this city and she went to two meetings a month and a lot more.
Councilman Toth said last week he had nine meetings and he had two tonight; he had an important meeting tomorrow and he wanted to go home and get ready for it. He said one of the things he thought they should have done was have this on a Saturday and get the whole thing done in one day; he said three hours to him for a meeting tonight was sufficient especially when he had another hour's work to do at home.
Councilman Schmid said Councilwoman Mason could leave anytime she wanted and he didn't think anybody should care when she left if that was what she wanted to do with her commitment to the city. He said he really didn't care who left because he believed it was their business and as long as four remained, they could carry on a meeting.
He said if Councilman Toth wanted to be on a lot of committees and get a lot of influence and perks, that was his business but that shouldn't interfere with Council's business. Councilman Toth noted they were all council committees, and Councilman Schmid said council had a job to do and that should come first. He commented that he belonged to as few committees as he could because he didn't have time to do it nor perhaps the energy. He said he did not feel council should be concerned that he had nine meetings this week; he said Mr. Toth was just on too many committees and should get off half of them and spend time doing some other things but he shouldn't bring it up to council that he was going to jeopardize the business of council because he had other committees.
Marty Fluharty asked if they wanted to do anything with this, and Councilman Schmid said he didn't think they needed to do anything. He said he thought they should plan a meeting and noted they had to have some flexibility beforehand if a meeting was planned and several people said they couldn't make it. He said they needed to have some flexibility and try to get all the members there, but once a meeting was set and they were here, he felt anybody could leave any time they wanted as long as that left a quorum.
Councilwoman Mason mentioned that on the 27th they have scheduled council rules from 6:30 to 8:00 and an executive session at 6:00. She said she didn't feel bad about not making council rules, but an executive session on pending litigation was something she felt she should know and she felt that should be just before the council meeting at 7:30 so that she could work up to 7:00 if she had to and not miss the executive session. She said the things she had to do were executive sessions and council meetings and scheduling it this way was forcing her to stop working early to be at a 6:00 executive session.
Mayor McLallen said that was a positive point.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope,
Seconded by Councilman Mitzel,
To reconsider the meeting schedule.
Yes (7) No (0) Motion carried unanimously
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope,
Seconded by Councilman Crawford,
That the meeting schedule be amended to:
a. Executive Session 7:30 PM, February 27th - Pending litigation, property acquisition for fire station
b. Special Meeting-Council Rules-6:00 to 7:30 PM, February 27th
Yes (7) No (0) Motion carried unanimously
Councilwoman Mason left at 9:35 PM.
Marty Fluharty listed the 5 top vote getters as follows:
- Purchase Fuerst Farm
- Fund & implement safety path system
- Complete purchase of parkland and complete park master plan
- Update computer services for efficiency
- Put in place the Historic District Ordinances
Councilman Mitzel noted that the study on Fuerst farm was in the process with a report being prepared and a deadline.
Councilman Schmid said as he understood it, these were things that council would be voting on at some point in time and he didn't see the need to spend much time tonight agreeing or not agreeing on them.
Councilman Mitzel said his point was the Fuerst Farm would be coming to council and they would decide them, but the safety path system funding and implementation was probably something council would have to ask administration to bring some suggestions forward during the budget process - what could they afford to do this year - and then council would make the decision.
Mayor McLallen said most of these involved expenditures that they would have to address at budget time; she said ranking them gave staff an idea of where council support was and if there was support, then they had to find sources for the money.
Councilman Schmid asked what money they would tell administration to come up with to purchase the farm, and Mayor McLallen said the study was going to identify sources and council would have to ask if there was any money in the budget to be allocated to that.
Marty Fluharty asked if that was the question that got asked of the city manager, and Councilman Schmid said it would be city business eventually. It would either be out of Parks money or a mystery fund somewhere.
Mayor McLallen said the issue that Mr. Mitzel identified here was that the council has already addressed this but it has not made the final decision to "purchase it". She said Preservation Novi was the group that would be bringing most of the answers back. Councilman Schmid commented they didn't even know if all the buildings could be saved and if they did, what they would do with them and how would they maintain them. Councilman Mitzel said at this point, he didn't think there was anything they should do other than wait for information.
Mayor McLallen noted that the issue of safety paths has been on-again/off-again, and Councilman Mitzel said they actually budgeted $50,000 in 1994-95 and he didn't know if anything would be done with it. The Mayor said they were still waiting to see from the Department of Public Services what would be done with it.
Marty Fluharty asked if they needed a special directive to Public Services, and Councilman Mitzel said they have learned in the past it has to be decided how it would be used before the end of the budget year.
Councilman Toth commented that was a pretty small amount when it took $200,000 to pave a mile of sidewalk.
Marty Fluharty asked who was in charge of this, and members said everything went to Mr. Kriewall and then to the department head.
Mayor McLallen said the idea behind this was to connect the gaps in sidewalks, and Councilman Mitzel said he had suggested last June that the city might want to work on a program whereby the business owners would donate the right of way or something and the city could get a big contract together to put them in all at once and in return the owners would get some sort of recognition for being in "operation connect the gap." He said the idea was to look at creative approaches rather than just saying they needed a million dollars.
Councilman Toth noted that the city paid about $10 a foot for the sidewalks Wayne County put in along 8 Mile but they were paying about $40 a foot elsewhere in the city.
Marty Fluharty asked if their two points were to look at some creative way to complete the safety paths and look at some creative ways to do funding; members agreed. Councilman Mitzel said he would like to look at this sometime in the budget process
Councilman Pope asked if they had an ISTEA application for safety paths by the April 1st deadline, and Mr. Kriewall yes.
Marty Fluharty asked if "update computer services for efficiency" was a plan and was someone in charge; members said Councilman Toth was in charge. Marty Fluharty asked when council expected a report and Mr. Toth said next council meeting.
Ms. Fluharty said the next item was complete purchase of parkland and complete all park master plans. Mayor McLallen asked if they were close to the end of the money and Mr. Kriewall said they were. He said Dan Davis was working on a revised budget based on the last two purchases and would probably be reporting back at the next meeting. It was noted that there was a three year deadline for spending the money and that was three years from when the bonds were sold.
Ms. Fluharty asked if there was anything council needed to do with this and members said this would be completed by the Parks & Recreation Commission. Most of the individual parks had a master plan with two not done.
Mayor McLallen questioned whether the city had an historic preservation ordinance and Gerry Stipp said she believed they had an ordinance but they had not identified a district. Ms. Stipp was asked to look this up and report back at the next meeting.
Councilman Toth referred to planting groves of large trees and said he would like to see this in stormwater areas to stabilize the soil. He said for those and some other public properties, they should probably adopt a planting program; he said right now Chris Pargoff was handling the street trees and trees in the right of way along the roads and they haven't talked about putting in trees along the stormwater easement areas. It was noted that the funding was in place for this.
On page 3 were Meeting Guidelines; Marty Fluharty said ground rules could cover anything from people leaving before meetings were finished, who set agendas, who reviewed them, what got added when, deadlines for the agendas, committee assignments, attendance, behavior at meetings, participation at meetings, and anything else members wanted. She said if they didn't have ground rules it was a wide open door for misunderstanding or anger, resentment, etc. She said they might not feel they were needed but it would save them a lot of grief if they had operating ground rules that were written down.
Mayor McLallen said if a member at the beginning of a meeting said they had to leave early, did that have to be a formal request and consented to or was this the kind of rule she was talking about. Marty Fluharty said a rule created by the group took everybody off the hook from being the person who called them on it. She said if the rule was that a member announced at the beginning of the meeting if they had to leave early, then everybody knew and the group could also either in a rule or at that moment say we acknowledge you want to leave at that time and that was fine but they would continue to do their work and make a decision because they had a quorum. Marty Fluharty said that could be formally written down and then everybody knew what the consequences were of leaving early and they have all agreed to it.
Mayor McLallen asked the members if this was something they wanted to address formally, and Councilman Schmid said he had trouble making rules because when you did that, you had to have enforcement of rules and 100% compliance and that was particularly hard to get with elected officials who sometimes had their own agendas. He said he truly believed the Chair controlled the meeting for the most part and that was where it should fall and the rest should be courtesy and common sense.
Councilman Mitzel said because of the discussion tonight about leaving early, he had a better understanding of that after tonight. He said if they tried to make a rule for every situation, they would never get their rules done - they had to remember not to micro-manage. Mr. Mitzel noted that most of guidelines listed were included in Council Rules.
Ms. Fluharty said another issue they raised had to do with council's process for when an issue was brought before them and what steps were taken to resolve it. She asked if there was a definite pattern for how matters were handled, beginning with a staff presentation, then questions, a motion, then discussion and a vote or was it a free-for-all with no motion until the chair finally asked.
Councilman Toth left at 10:00 PM.
Ms. Fluharty pointed out materials included in the packet she distributed; she said the comment was made that it was the chair's responsibility to make sure things run but in actuality, she said it was all seven of them who had the responsibility to make sure that meetings ran well, that they all adhered to the same ground rules or code of ethics, and that it was important that it not all fall to the chair.
Ms. Fluharty referred to page 4-Operations/Process items: she said they did touch on the item that got the highest number of votes - redirect Planning Commission to planning and away from policy - by suggesting more training for boards and commissions.
Councilman Pope asked for an example of something the Planning Commission has done, and Councilman Mitzel said discussing council ethics. He said the commission got into a big discussion about council ethics, and Councilman Pope said it was in the context of the commission setting their own rules. Councilman Crawford said it went beyond that by a couple of members.
Councilman Schmid said the city had woodland and wetland ordinances and individuals on the planning commission either agreed or disagreed with those ordinances and then argued on the behalf of or against the developer as to whether or not he should have to follow those ordinances. He said he did not think that was their prerogative; he could do that on council but he did not think planning commissioners should. He said the planning commissioners should follow the ordinances and not their personal feelings.
Councilman Mitzel and Councilman Schmid gave other examples, and Marty Fluharty asked if redirection of the Planning Commission was needed. Mayor McLallen said she felt it was covered if the training sessions were done. She said a Planning Commissioner was not a council person and did not have a constituency. They have heard planning commissioners talk about their constituencies at meetings. Marty Fluharty commented that outside training sessions might have to be supplemented by in-house staff or attorney to cover specific items.
Ms. Fluharty asked for their comments on what they could have done differently or in a better way if they were going to do this all over.
Councilman Crawford said he felt she was excellent and they do this every year and he would hope they would use this same format. He felt this was the best format and she was the best facilitator they have had. He said to comment on what happened a while ago, he was not so much angered as frustrated. He felt this was an exercise that needed all seven members here and he understood that people sometimes had to leave because of other commitments but there was an individual who made a habit of that and his frustration came out there. He said that individual has left meetings before and gotten upset with the Chair because they didn't receive a document other members got. Mr. Crawford said that was not conducive to good team work and what they were trying to do here and when it became an attitude or a habit that was what bothered him. He commented they were not put on council to only attend two meetings a month.
Councilman Mitzel said he liked how they actually worked through the process; they started from scratch to put their ideas together. He said what he felt really helped was they put the ideas down rather than who wanted what and then worked things out.
Councilman Schmid said he thought the process was good; he looked at this, however, as more of a seminar that a group of people would go to to learn how to function in a decision making process. He said he would not look for this to happen every year at a goal setting issue; he felt once they got the principles down and the approach down it could be handled internally as opposed to an external person. He said this was a good teaching and learning process that any committee or council could see using the principles presented. He said he did not look at this as having to have it every year; if there were new council people, that might be another issue.
He said he thought it was excellent material and it solved some problems and they got some goals established whether he liked them all or not. He said he didn't know if there was enough time to discuss individual goals but overall he enjoyed the process.
Councilman Crawford said he thought it was important to have a facilitator for this; if what happened tonight happened with one of them chairing the meeting, it would not have been a good meeting. A facilitator can step back and focus better for this kind of a session.
Mayor McLallen said she personally found the informal situation good and felt it allowed them to be a little more candid with one another in a positive way.
Councilman Mitzel said he would have liked this last year but with only being on council a few months then perhaps he wouldn't have had the same perception to be able to comment on these goals as he did at this point.
Marty Fluharty asked Mr. Kriewall for his comments, and he said he felt this had been the best goal session they have ever done, but he felt there needed to be more discussion in future of the problem definition on all of these issues. He said in order to resolve problems, they really need to define what the problem is and he thought they just kind of skipped over most of them and some of the paperwork too.
Mr. Kriewall said philosophically, he thought it was good to have some administrative input on issues; they would do everything they were supposed to do because that was their job but there were some things he felt were not a problem.
Marty Fluharty said the Mayor talked to her about that and she made a bit of a judgement call after having watched just one meeting because a lot of things were going on and undercurrents that council members needed to deal with on their own for this time. She said they might want to consider that once the council has done the goal setting.
Jim Wahl was asked to comment and he said to piggy back on what Mr. Kriewall said some of the discussion which led to direction was information he or Ed had but just because of the immensity of the information council members either weren't aware of or didn't remember that they got that report. He said from the standpoint that they then take that - what becomes a conclusion and cause something to be decided on and everyone confirms this is a fact - and it isn't. He said that situation occurs regularly at council meetings and then administration is put in a position where they prepare a report back correcting something which everybody at that meeting believed to be a fact and he didn't know whether council ever found out what the real fact was or how they felt about it.
2. Formulate Council Administrative Search Policy
a. City Clerk Selection Process
Mayor McLallen said the reason this was here was because Gerry Stipp has tendered her formal resignation and administration would like to advertise in several publications; she said she asked them to hold off until council was clear on search policy for a new clerk but if council was comfortable, they could go ahead and advertise and council can decide on a search policy later.
Councilman Crawford said if the question before them was whether to advertise, he had no problem with that; he said what they did with that and with in-house people and if they formed a committee and how they finally decide was yet to be determined.
Councilman Mitzel asked that they copy council so they knew what was being advertised in case someone had a big objection and for some reason wanted a certain clause.
Councilman Schmid said he hoped council didn't have any objections to what administration thought was a good ad. Councilman Mitzel said his point was city clerk was a direct hire by council and direct responsibility to council.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Crawford,
Seconded by Councilman Schmid,
To allow city administration to advertise the position of city clerk.
Councilman Pope said he would just like to see a future discussion on administration's proposal on the selection process; consensus agreed.
Yes (5) Absent (2-Mason, Toth) Motion carried
Mayor McLallen said on the search policy and developing a procedure to handle this transition did members have any comments they wanted to put on the table tonight or bring this back as a discussion item at a council meeting.
Councilman Pope said he would like to see administration or a committee narrow it down to five people; three council members, city manager and city clerk were suggested as the committee.
Councilman Crawford asked how many applicants they anticipated and Mr. Kriewall said between 50 and 100; he suggested eliminating that down to 20 and actually interviewing those 20 and then come in with 5 or 10 for the full council.
Councilman Mitzel said he had two concerns; he said he hoped it didn't go the way Manager or Consultant Review Committee has with some of the frustrations they have seen there. Secondly, his concern was strict compliance with the Open Meetings Act and he felt the city attorney should work with setting up this process to make sure that all through the process they were following everything they were supposed to be following.
Ed Kriewall said he thought they would find that the committee approach would work better because some employees from nearby cities won't want to apply unless they agree to keep applications confidential.
Mayor McLallen questioned whether there was a written job description; she suggested that Gerry Stipp write one up and they could use it as a framework to work off of in terms of what to expect from the next person for a job description.
Consensus was to put the committee formation on the next agenda.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Schmid,
Seconded by Councilman Mitzel,
That the meeting be adjourned at 10:20 PM.
Yes (5) No (2-Mason, Toth) Motion carried