Council Chambers

Tonawanda, New York

March 17, 2009

 

A Regular Meeting of the Common Council

 

Present:  Council President Zeisz

Present Councilmembers:  Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis

 

Pledge of Allegiance led by Council President Zeisz

 

Prayer led by Council President Zeisz

 

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE MAYOR

 

A letter from Time Warner Cable dated March 13, 2009, regarding the closing of the transaction involving the ownership of Time Warner Cable Inc.

 

A letter from Time Warner Cable dated March 12, 2009, notifying the City that effective April 15, 2009, the charge assessed for late payments will increase to $7.00.

 

A letter from Erie County Executive Chris Collins dated February 26, 2009, thanking and praising Amanda Dragoo, Recreation Leader for the City of Tonawanda, for her help staging the “2009 Winterfest” at Chestnut Ridge Park.

 

A letter to Amanda Dragoo, dated March 5, 2009, congratulating and thanking her for her efforts in coordinating the Erie County “2009 Winterfest” at Chestnut Ridge Park.

 

A letter from Legislator Michele M. Iannello to the owner and CEO of Tonawanda Coke Corp., dated March 4, 2009, requesting a meeting to discuss air quality and how elected officials can assist industry in seeking a remedy to reduce the overall threshold of harmful emissions.

 

A letter from Legislator Michele M. Iannello to the Honorable Michael Ranzenhofer, and the Honorable Robin Schimminger, dated March 4, 2009, regarding a letter she sent to Governor Paterson regarding the high levels of toxic emissions as reported by the DEC Air Monitoring Project near the South Grand Island Bridges.

 

A letter from County Executive Chris Collins dated March 3, 2009, regarding the Erie County Community Development Block Grant Program monies to be allocated.

 

A letter from the NYS Office of Real Property Services dated March 6, 2009, regarding the 2008 Annual Aid Certification for the City of Tonawanda for the amount of $30,571.10.

 

A letter from the State Senate Majority Leader, Malcolm A. Smith, dated March 6, 2009, announcing a series of regional town hall forums concerning the implementation of the federal economic stimulus package.

 

A letter from the Director of Real Property Tax Services dated March 3, 2009, regarding the cost of preparation and spreading of City tax for the year 2008.

 

A letter to City Assessor Patricia Bacon dated March 11, 2009, regarding the 2008 reassessment process and expressing his sincere gratitude to her and her staff for a job well done.

 

A letter to Mr. Michael Shaw, Music Director for the American Legion Band of the Tonawandas, Post #264 congratulating him on his new appointment as Director.

 

A letter from Assemblyman Antoine M. Thompson dated February 23, 2009, regarding the 2009 New York State Senate Member Item Program.

            Ordered filed

COMMUNICATION FROM CITY OFFICIALS AND CORRESPONDENCE

 

The following monthly reports were received by the City Clerk:

            January Activity Report of the Fire Department

            February Activity Report of the Fire Department

            General Fund Budget Expenditures, Revenues and Sewer Revenues

                        For the City of Tonawanda through 2/28/09

              Referred to the Committee of the Whole

                        Ordered filed

 

Letters to the Honorable Robin Schimminger and the Honorable Antoine Thompson dated March 5, 2009, regarding the 2009 New York State Member Item Program.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

                        Ordered filed

           

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

 

45.       By Councilmember Waterhouse                              seconded by Councilmember Perkins

                        Resolved, that the bills be allowed as audited and the City Clerk be authorized to draw warrants on the Treasurer for the various amounts.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

46.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Whereas; on behalf of the City of Tonawanda, the County of Erie, in conjunction with the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, applied for a Economic Development Initiative Grant (Grant) from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to assist in the preparation of the former Spaulding Fibre (Spaulding) site for redevelopment purposes; and

Whereas; funding in the amount of $1,146,600 was approved by HUD to continue and supplement other secured funding dedicated to the redevelopment of Spaulding, for demolition, below-grade demolition and removal and for remediation of identified environmental conditions: and

Whereas; HUD has provided an agreement to Erie County for receipt of this Grant and Grant revenue, for the purposes of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008 (the Act), (PL110-161); and

Whereas, Erie County has prepared and provided an agreement document to the City of Tonawanda for the purposes of accepting and undertaking eligible activities and Spaulding site preparation activity previously referenced, now therefore be it

Resolved, the Mayor of the City of Tonawanda is authorized to execute the agreement with the County of Erie to accept the Grant and be it further

Resolved, the Mayor is also authorized to sign any and all documents and contracts with contractors, sub-contractors and/or with the Erie County Industrial Development Agency to implement and induce work activity funded, approved and eligible under the Grant and the Act.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

47.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Whereas, a Special Events Application and a $25.00 application fee were received by the City Clerk from the American Legion Post #264 and Vietnam Veterans Chapter #77 and

            Whereas, the application was reviewed and commented on by all appropriate department heads to insure the safety of our residents, and

Whereas, all details for the above named event must be coordinated with the City of Tonawanda Director of Parks and Recreation, Linda Foels, and the events Chairperson, now, therefore be it

            Resolved, that permission be granted to the American Legion Post #264 and the Vietnam Veterans Chapter #77, to hold a Car Show on Monday, September 7, 2009, from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. on Main Street from Broad to Young Streets and on Adam Street, Main to Seymour Streets and the City parking lot on the south side of Adam Street between Main and Seymour Streets and be it further

            Resolved, that any overtime cost that is incurred by the City of Tonawanda must be reimbursed by the American Legion Post #264 and the Vietnam Veterans Chapter #77 to the City and be it further

            Resolved, that a Certificate of Insurance naming the City of Tonawanda as additional insured be presented to the City Clerk no later than September 1, 2009.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

48.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Whereas, a Special Events Application and a $25.00 application fee were received by the City Clerk from the American Legion Post #264 and the Vietnam Veterans Chapter #77 and

            Whereas, the application was reviewed and commented on by all appropriate department heads to insure the safety of our residents and

Whereas, all details for the above named event must be coordinated with the City of Tonawanda Director of Parks and Recreation, Linda Foels and the events Chairperson, now, therefore be it

            Resolved, that permission be granted to the American Legion Post #264 and the Vietnam Veterans Chapter #77 to hold a Bike Show on Sunday, August 23, 2009, from 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., near the Bandshell at City Hall, and be it further

            Resolved, that any overtime cost that is incurred by the City of Tonawanda must be reimbursed to the City by the American Legion Post #264 and the Vietnam Veterans Chapter #77, and be it further

            Resolved, that a Certificate of Insurance naming the City as additional insured be presented to the City Clerk by August 17, 2009.

           

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

49.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

             Whereas, a Special Events Application and a $25.00 application fee were received by the City Clerk from the Bryan M. Lawrence Foundation, and

            Whereas, the application was reviewed and commented on by all appropriate department heads to insure the safety of our residents and

Whereas, all details for the above named event must be coordinated with our Director of Parks and Recreation, Linda Foels, and the event chairperson, now, therefore be it

            Resolved, that permission be granted to the Bryan M. Lawrence Foundation to hold a Walk-a-thon along the Riverwalk on Friday, June 5, 2009, at approximately 5:30 P.M., and be it further

            Resolved, that any overtime cost that is incurred by the City of Tonawanda must be reimbursed to the City by the Bryan M. Lawrence Foundation and be it further

            Resolved, that a Certificate of Insurance naming the City of Tonawanda as additional insured be presented to the City Clerk no later than May 25, 2009.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

50.       By Councilmember Kossow                                   seconded by Council President Zeisz

            Resolved, that the reading of resolutions #6 and #7 be waived.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

51.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Whereas, the title of this Resolution/Ordinance has been published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation, more specifically, The Tonawanda News, on March 7, 2009 in accordance with Section 2.047 of the City Charter, now, therefore be it

Resolved, that Chapter 30 of the Code of the City of Tonawanda entitled “Fees”, Article 2 “Administration”, Sec. 30-31 Police department services, which now reads as follows:

 

            (a)            The following fees shall be established for reproducing records and other services rendered by the police department to be in compliance with other area police departments:

 

(1)            Reproducing police records:  $2.75 for any required search, plus     $0.25 per page.

                        (2)            Processing a pistol permit:  $25.00.

(3)            Conducting a record search for which no other fee is set, per incident:  $2.75 for any required search, plus $0.25 per page.

(4)             Fingerprinting individuals where no other fee is directly connected or set, per fingerprint card:  $5.00 per fingerprint card for City of Tonawanda residents and $10.00 per fingerprint card for non-city of Tonawanda residents.

           

            (b)            These fees will not be assessed other governmental agencies or for services rendered by the city police department in the normal course of duty involving incidents of criminal arrest.

 

            Shall be amended to read as follows:

 

            (a)            The following fees shall be established for reproducing records and other services rendered by the police department:

 

                        (1)            Reproducing police records:  $0.25 per page.

                        (2)            Processing a pistol permit:  $25.00.

(3)            Fingerprinting individuals where no other fee is directly connected or set, per fingerprint card:  $5.00 per fingerprint card for City of Tonawanda residents and $10.00 per fingerprint card for non-city of Tonawanda residents.

 

            (b)            These fees will not be assessed other governmental agencies or for services rendered by the city police department in the normal course of duty involving incidents of criminal arrest and be it further

Resolved, that all other sections of said ordinance shall remain unchanged and in full force and effect; and be it further

Resolved, that the above amendment shall take effect upon publication in an official newspaper of the City of Tonawanda.

               

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

52.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Whereas, thirty miles south of Buffalo, New York, the West Valley nuclear waste site, located in Cattaraugus County, is burdened with vast amounts of toxic and radioactive wastes, many of which will remain radioactive for tens of thousands of years, some for millions of years, including plutonium, uranium, strontium-90 and iodine-129, and can cause leukemia and cancer at low doses;

            Whereas, the site is the nation’s only venture into commercial reprocessing of irradiated nuclear fuel, was operated by Nuclear Fuel Services and ended in a total failure in 1976 with the company leaving and passing on cleanup responsibility to the government and taxpayers;

Whereas, the site sits on top of a sole source aquifer and has been plagued with problems, such as radioactive contaminated groundwater, and radioactivity from the site has been found as far away as the shore at the juncture of the Niagara River and Lake Ontario demonstrating a potential for the leaking site to contaminate drinking water supplies for millions of people;

Whereas, the Department of Energy and NYS Energy Research & Development Authority are proposing to leave buried waste onsite, (including high level radioactive waste tanks when such tanks are at the end of their useful lives and could leak contamination at any time), and delay final cleanup decisions for up to 30 years;

Whereas, economists and scientists recently released a first-ever study on the long-term cleanup costs, The Real Costs of Cleaning Up Nuclear Waste: A Full Cost Accounting of Cleanup Options for the West Valley Nuclear Waste Site, funded by a New York State grant sponsored by Senator Catharine Young (R-Olean), and the study was conducted by Synapse Energy Economics, experts from Tufts University, SUNY Fredonia and Radioactive Waste Management Associates;

Whereas, the study investigated the costs of digging up radioactive waste versus leaving waste buried onsite for the next 1,000 years and found that a full waste excavation cleanup costs less, at $9.9 billion, and presents the least risk to the population than leaving buried waste onsite, which is expensive, at $13 billion, carries high risks, and could also cost an additional $27 billion or more if a catastrophic release of radioactive waste contaminated drinking water supplies;  

Whereas, scientists found that erosion is a powerful and fast moving force in the region, and leaving buried waste onsite poses a risk to people if controls fail and dangerous radioactive waste pollutes local, regional and international waterways into Lake Erie, the Niagara River and beyond;

Whereas, scientists found the site poses a significant danger to people who live along nearby creeks, Buffalo residents and people living along the shores of Lakes Erie and Ontario, and if just 1% of radioactivity leaked from the site, Lake Erie water users would be exposed to substantial radiation, causing hundreds of cancer deaths, and Buffalo and Erie County water replacement would cost hundreds of millions of dollars;

Whereas, scientists and economists concluded that if wastes are left buried at West Valley and a release occurs, it can have expensive and disastrous consequences irreparably contaminating the precious Great Lakes region, and the costs of maintaining buried waste in an attempt to thwart future disaster will be far more expensive and far more risky than excavating the radioactive waste which is the safest, precautionary approach, now therefore be it

Resolved, that the City of Tonawanda, supports the full cleanup of the entire West Valley nuclear waste site (also known as the Western NY Nuclear Service Center & Demonstration Project) through waste excavation; and be it further

Resolved, that the City of Tonawanda, supports cleanup standards that are at least as protective as current state radiation standards and unrestricted use toxic standards, and are fully protective of vulnerable populations, including children, fish, wildlife and water.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

53.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, at the recommendation of the City Engineer, Jason J. LaMonaco, P.E., that award of the contract for survey services for Johnson Street and Moyle Avenue improvements be made to TVGA Consultants, at a cost not to exceed $8,400.

 

Funding/Fiscal Impact:   $8,400 from 2009 Engineer Department Salaries

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

54.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            WHEREAS, on January 22, 2008, the Common Council passed a Resolution naming the Woodbridge Contracting Group, Inc., its successor and/or assigns, as the Designated Developer for the re-development of the City’s Water Plant/Sewer Plant site, including the construction of luxury apartment condominiums; and

            WHEREAS, that Resolution provided that Mayor Ronald J. Pilozzi, was authorized and directed to negotiate a Developer’s Agreement between the City and Woodbridge setting forth the terms and conditions of construction and re-development; and

            WHEREAS, the Resolution further provided that the Developer’s Agreement shall be completed within sixty days of the designation of the developer or the designation may be rescinded by the Common Council; and

            WHEREAS, the sixty-day time period had previously expired, however, the time was extended by the Common Council to February 25, 2009; and

            WHEREAS, the Mayor and Woodbridge Contracting Group, Inc. have not reached an Agreement, now, therefore be it

RESOLVED that the Common Council hereby rescinds the designation of Woodbridge Contracting Group, Inc., its successors and/or assigns as the Designated Developer for the re-development of the City’s Water Plant/Sewer Plant site.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

55.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            WHEREAS, the Niagara Frontier Transit Metro System, Inc. has requested use of approximately seventeen (17) parking spaces in the City’s parking lot located at Niagara and Seymour Streets for the purpose of a Park and Ride lot for parking motor vehicles for passengers using metro buses; and

            WHEREAS, the Niagara Frontier Transit Metro System, Inc. has submitted a proposed Park and Ride License Agreement to the City setting forth the terms and conditions of the arrangement; and

            WHEREAS, Mayor Ronald J. Pilozzi and this Common Council believe that this arrangement for service would benefit the residents of the City of Tonawanda, now, therefore be it

RESOLVED that Mayor Ronald J. Pilozzi is hereby authorized and directed to enter into the proposed Park and Ride License Agreement between the City of Tonawanda as Licensor and Niagara Frontier Transit Metro System, Inc. as Licensee for the use of approximately seventeen (17) parking spaces in the City’s parking lot located at Niagara and Seymour Streets.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

56.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

BE IT RESOLVED by the Common Council for the City of Tonawanda that proposed Local Law No. 1 of the year 2009, entitled:

 

            A Local Law to amend ARTICLE V. FINANCE, DIVISION 2. BUDGETS AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS PROGRAM, Section 5.023 entitled “Capital Program”, subdivision (a) of the Charter of the City of Tonawanda which provides for the mayor to prepare and submit to the Common Council a five-year capital program, or revision or extension thereof, on or before the first regularly scheduled meeting in August of the current fiscal year.  The first such program shall be submitted by the first regularly scheduled meeting in August 2009.

            be and it is hereby introduced before the Common Council of the City of Tonawanda, New York; and

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that copies of the aforesaid proposed Local Law be laid upon the desk of each member of the Common Council by the City Clerk in accordance with the NYS Municipal Home Rule Law, a copy of which is hereto attached and made a part hereof.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

57.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            BE IT RESOLVED by the Common Council for the City of Tonawanda that proposed Local Law No. 2 of the year 2009, entitled:

 

            A Local Law to amend ARTICLE V. FINANCE, DIVISION 2. BUDGETS AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS PROGRAM, Section 5.024 entitled “Common Council Action on Capital Program”, subdivision (b) of the Charter of the City of Tonawanda which provides that the common council shall adopt the capital program with or without amendment after the public hearing and on or before the first regularly scheduled meeting in October of the current fiscal year.  The mayor may disapprove one or more specific capital program items pursuant to section 2.023 of this charter.  The common council may then override the mayor’s disapproval pursuant to section 2.023 of this charter.  With respect to the capital program, the common council shall meet no later than the second regularly scheduled meeting in November to consider overriding the mayor’s veto of capital program items.  If the common council fails to adopt the program by such second regularly scheduled meeting in November, the capital program submitted by the mayor pursuant to section 5.023 of this charter shall be deemed adopted for the ensuing fiscal year.

            be and it is hereby introduced before the Common Council of the City of Tonawanda, New York; and

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that copies of the aforesaid proposed Local Law be laid upon the desk of each member of the Common Council by the City Clerk in accordance with the NYS Municipal Home Rule Law, a copy of which is hereto attached and made a part hereof.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

58.       By Council President Zeisz                                     seconded by Councilmember Davis

            Resolved, that in recognition and compliance with the “New York State Open Meetings Law”, this Common Council will meet in Executive Session in the Common Council Chambers for the purpose of pending exempt City business, and further be it

            Resolved, that upon conclusion of the above stated business matters, the meeting shall again be open to the general public.  The reason for the Executive Session is to discuss personnel of a particular person.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC AFTER RESOLUTIONS

 

Robert Derner, 286 Niagara Shore Drive – Since the last meeting have you had any reason why the three employee contracts with the City should not be posted on the City website? 

 

Council President Zeisz – I know the question was brought up last time but I don’t know.

 

Mayor Pilozzi – Ron, you want to address that?

 

City Attorney Ron Trabucco – I don’t have any problem.  They’re public record.  Once they’re filed with the Clerk, they’re public record and they can be put on the website. 

 

Mayor Pilozzi - All right.  Then I’ll make sure that it’s done.

 

Robert Derner - Today there was a story in the paper about Veterans, the possibility that they would have to be paying for their own war related injuries and I’d like to ask this Council to pass a resolution opposing that and send it to our Congressmen and our two State Senators.  I think everybody in this City would agree that that shouldn’t be.  Another Council resolution I’d like to see is to oppose what Antoine Thompson wants to do with awarding two extra days off for each child that any public employee has.  Seems a little bit off the wall and I think even the answer you gave the reporter when I asked about this was a little bit sketchy. 

 

Council President Zeisz - I don’t have a problem with that but at least at this point in time, I understand that that bill is not going forward. 

 

Robert Derner – I know but he should be reprimanded for even bringing that up.  That’s not even a decent thing.  And I want to thank you for cleaning up the debris on Niagara Shore Drive but I brought, in case you didn’t see how it was left, pictures in and if this is acceptable, okay, but at least the major part of it was picked up and that is right next to the City Hall.  It doesn’t look good for people walking on the Riverwalk, we have a lot of people from all over Western New York that use that Riverwalk and we should look better to the people in this community as to how our City lawn and City property looks. 

 

Council President Zeisz – We’ll take care of that Mr. Derner. 

 

COMMENTS FROM THE COUNCILMEMBERS AFTER RESOLUTIONS

 

Councilmember Perkins – Happy St. Patrick’s Day.  I hope everybody had the opportunity to have their corn beef and cabbage.

 

Councilmember Waterhouse – Nothing at this time. 

 

Councilmember Kossow – I just want to remind everyone, this coming weekend we have the T-NT Expo, it’s an opportunity for all the local businesses in Tonawanda, North Tonawanda, to showcase their services so, if you get the opportunity to take the event in, it’s a nice event.  That’s all I have Mr. President.

 

Councilmember Davis – I’d just like to thank Legislator Michele Iannello, she was able to secure a $30,000 grant to retro-fit buses at Rainbow Transportation to decrease the amount of smog, I believe, that they pump into the atmosphere, so I’d like to applaud her for her efforts.  City Engineer gave an update on Spaulding.  I have received a few phone calls from people, mainly along Enterprise, about the amount of noise that’s going on with the foundations that are being ripped out.  Just ask those residents to please bear with us because that’s a pretty large undertaking by the City Engineer and the good news is, the asbestos abatement will start in the building along Hackett and hopefully that will be taken care of in the next few weeks.  And at this point I want to wish everybody a Happy St. Patrick’s Day. 

 

Mayor Pilozzi – Number one, I’d also like to echo the comments of both Councilmember Kossow and Davis.  First of all, T-NT Expo is a great opportunity for residents to get out and see what business people and organizations within our two communities in the Twin Cities, has to offer.  It’s going to open up 7:00 P.M, I believe, on Friday evening, so I know I plan to be there and I welcome everybody from our community.  Also, Councilman Davis gave a good update on Spaulding Fibre.  It’s coming along nicely.  If you think there isn’t a lot of work going on right now, it looks that way, but that’s s not true, we have to do some, as was mentioned, some asbestos abatement and that sort of thing, before we can start doing more demolition.  But one thing I did want to mention, along with those comments, is something that came up recently with our Library.  The Library has been kind of a topic that’s been hard to deal with because we are responsible for the Library in terms of the actual physical plan and over the years, it’s always been one of those items that we don’t, it seems like we don’t have a lot of money to put in to, it’s always something that comes at the tail end of the budget and that sort of thing.  So a few months back, our head librarian, Beverly Federspiel came and talked to me and subsequently to the Common Council and we put, months ago, into the budget $15,000.  Well we turned that $15,000 into $56,000 to help do some renovations to the entrance,  the concrete entrance, all the glass around it, I believe there was some asbestos there, I’m not sure on the asbestos, but the fact of the matter is, they had to move the sod and because we had $11,000 out of the 50 we’re going to get $56,000 worth of work done there, so nice piece of work on her part and our part.  I’m looking forward to it and I think everybody up here is too.  And lastly, Happy St. Patrick’s Day. 

 

Council President Zeisz – The comment I want to make is really more than a comment and I generally am not the type to shall we say, “stir the pot”, except for when people feel the need to go and speak for this Council when this Council hasn’t been able to speak for themselves.  In 2007 the City of Tonawanda and the Tonawanda School District were awarded a grant through New York State Shared Municipal Services Incentive Program.  The goal of this was to reduce costs and improve service quality through a more collaborative working relationship with the school system.  One of the things that the group selected was asked to do was to look at the cost benefit of potential collaborative opportunities in the use of City and District facilities.  Which is all fine.  The only problem that I have with the study is the fact that no one felt the need to talk to the Common Council about what we’d like to put in this study, or what we’d like to see as part of this study.  Now, there’s that point, and then the other point, is the fact that I was lead to believe by information that I read personally, that the report that came out in January was a draft.  Come to find out, because I got the actual copy last week, it was not a draft, it’s right here, it was on the City School website before the Common Council even had it, even knew what it said.  And there are things in there that, granted other people can have an opinion, that’s absolutely fine for them to have an opinion, but there’s things in here that as a member of the Council, I don’t agree with and I have no idea what they have to do with the City School District.  Specifically, moving City Hall.  I have no idea what that has to do with the shared services with our City schools and if somebody has the answer to that, please tell me because I have no idea what that has to do with anything.  Secondly, relocating the football stadium, Clint Small, up to the High School.  Fine.  But it alludes to trading property that everyone in the City, if they’ve read a newspaper, knows we have the intent to build houses on.  We’ve gotten authorization to abandon it as parkland.  We’ve got appraisals of the property. We’ve had it surveyed. We’ve had it checked for wetland delineation, we’re talking about getting the RFP’s done, and my point is, I suppose they can put whatever they want into the study, but I seriously take umbrage with the fact that the Common Council was not spoken to regarding this.  Someone made the comment to me that you only say it for political reasons.  That is absolutely a bunch of hogwash.  This has nothing to do with politics.  This has to do with the study that was done between the City and the School District and for whatever reason, the Common Council wasn’t spoken to, to even get our input.  And when I ask some of the Department Heads about speaking with these people, some of them had a hard time remembering even being with them.  So, I just have real problems with the way this study was done and some of the information that was included in the study and I would have appreciated the opportunity for this Common Council, if they wanted to say nothing, they could have said nothing, but for someone else to put together a package and allude to things that affect City government, without any input from us, is beyond me, and bear in mind, I’m not speaking for any of the other people up here, anyone else is more than willing to say anything they want to say about this but being in this seat for a number of years, I know that a lot of times what goes in print, becomes reality.  People begin to believe what they read.  Perception is always greater than reality, and people are going to read this and say, “can you believe what that City’s going to do?” and that’s the kind of stuff that’s starts to happen and that’s when problems start.  I want everyone to understand clearly that this is not a reflection on City government.  This is on this study and how this study was handled.  It is not a reflection on anyone in City government.  I just wish City government could have had a better opportunity to play a part in this study.  I have no other comments.  I thank everyone for coming tonight.  Have a great night.  Drive home safely and God Bless.

 


 

ADJOURNMENT

 

59.       By Councilmember                                                            seconded by Councilmember

            Resolved, that this Common Council adjourn until April 7, 2009.  

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

 

 

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