Finance Caucus: February 2nd 2015

MINUTES OF THE JOINT MEETING OF THE
SAFETY AND SERVICE COMMITTEE AND
FINANCE CAUCUS COMMITTEE
Mayfield Village Civic Hall
Monday, February 2, 2015 – 6:30 p.m.

A Joint Meeting of the Safety and Service Committee and Finance Caucus Committee was held on Monday, February 2, 2015 at Mayfield Village Civic Hall.   The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Mr. Saponaro, Chair of the Finance Committee.

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Present: Mr. Saponaro, Mr. Marquardt and Mr. Marrie

Also Present: Mr. Jerome, Mrs. Mills, Mr. Wynne, Chief Carcioppolo, Chief Edelman, Mr. Metzung, Mr. Marrelli (7:30), Mr. DiNardo, Mr. Cappello (7:30), Ms. Calta, Mr. Esborn, Ms. Wolgamuth, and Mrs. Betsa

Election of Chair of the Safety and Service Committee for 2015.

Mr. Jerome nominated Tom Marrie as Chair of the Safety and Service Committee for 2015.  There was no opposition.  Mr. Marrie will serve as Chair of the Safety and Service Committee for 2015.

1. Proposed Regional Dispatch.

Mr. Saponaro stated, from our perspective, we are just getting information on this and just getting brought up to speed on it.  This is an opportunity for us to gain more information and get answers to questions we may have preliminarily knowing that this is just the beginning of the dialogue.

At the last Council meeting, I asked the Chiefs to expound on the benefits because obviously there is a financial benefit, but if we put that aside, what are the benefits you believe are going to be advantageous to Mayfield Village?

Chief Edelman thanked Mr. Saponaro.  I think the first question that needs to be answered is “why consolidate”?  If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.  The simple answer to that is, do you really want to wait until it is broken? Consolidation is going to happen whether we want it to or not.  At some point, while we can stand alone financially, that may not be the case in the future.  We need to show a leadership role. This is one of the areas where we can take the reins and be a part of a growing trend in this area. I have asked a number of guests to be here this evening to help answer any questions.  First I would like to introduce Chief Neumann from Richmond Heights. He has actually taken part in the consolidation efforts in Florida before he came to this area.  There’s probably no better person in this room to give us some insights.

Fire Chjef Marc Neumann

City of Richmond Heights

Prior to moving to Northeast Ohio, I was a Division Fire Chief in Orange County, Florida.  We covered approximately 800 square miles with 41 fire stations. In my last post, I was in charge of our dispatch center.  I was Division Chief of Communications.  We had one center serving our 41 fire stations and also provided dispatch services to three other municipalities.  The benefit of it is boilerplate.  When Mrs. Jones calls 911, it’s through differential response, getting help there as quickly as you can without going through a lot of channels. 

Roughly 80% of all inbound calls are cellular in nature.  In today’s system, it goes to CECOMs and they verify the location of the emergency and then transfer the call back to the city where the emergency is occurring and then that city handles the 911 call, reverifying the location and getting units rolling to the emergency. What you lose in that process is valuable time.  You can lose perhaps a minute in the transfer.  With roughly 10% of all inbound 911 calls being fire rescue, most of them medical, someone having a cardiac event or is not breathing, the brain begins to die without being supported with oxygen within 4 minutes. That’s really where there is an inefficiency in the system, in getting help to the front doors as quickly as possible. There are other advantages as far as grants and support on the financial side of it. 

Mr. Marrie asked, when you call 911, it goes to CECOM, and you are losing a minute from the transfer from there to the Village?

Chief Neumann replied, that’s an estimate.  From the point someone dials 911 to the point of transfer, you could lose upwards of a minute. The main goal at that point is verification of the location of the emergency.  A lot of times the 911 caller is not actually located where the call is at. There can be a lot of confusion at times. 

Mr. Jerome stated, the thing I like about CECOMs is that if we could regionalize the whole County into one and you still had CECOMs, with people calling from a cellphone, it would go right to them.

Chief Edelman stated, before we get into which system is more advantageous, whether it’s CECOMs or Chagrin Valley, I just wanted to make sure Council understands the benefits and necessity of consolidating rather than remaining on our own in Mayfield Village.  It will be to our mutual benefit.  I want to make sure everyone is on that page before we get into which one of these systems is better for us.

Mr. Saponaro asked Chief Edelman to walk everyone through these benefits.

Chief Edelman replied, technology for one thing. We currently have an older radio system. Technology has advanced considerably since that system was installed. We have the 800 MARCs system available now. Voice and data transfer of information is quicker, more accurate and allows for a better exchange of information not only between police departments but with fire and emergency command centers in the event of a crisis. We are not so much talking about the day to day activities, but the dispatch center needs to be there for all of you in the event of a crisis.  Having a consolidated effort will guarantee that not only the three or four police officers in Mayfield Village and four or five firefighters will be available to respond to you, but also anything else in the region we need to take care of that critical incident. That’s the main thing.  The day to day activity is important as well. We do not want that to get lost in the shuffle. We want to make sure our residents are taken care of to the standard you expect.  While all those questions would not necessarily be answered by one of these dispatch centers, we will pick up the ball in that and make sure you are still getting that same level of service.

Mr. Marrie asked, did I hear last time that we will be forced into getting new equipment to replace the ones we have now?

Chief Edelman replied, if we don’t wind up going with a regional center, then I have included in the capital budget the cost of upgrading our current equipment.  That was $340,000 for the dispatch center plus another $65,000 for individual radios.

Mr. Wynne asked, when we built the station, if we had bought the best technology at that point in time, would that still be outdated today?

Chief Edelman replied, probably not. The MARCs system itself has been in existence for over 10 years.

Chief Carcioppolo added, 2003 was when we started using the 3.5 version of the MARC platform. We were one of the first departments in this area to get it.

Chief Edelman stated, it has evolved since then.  Even since 2003 the technology has improved on that.

Chief Carcioppolo stated, Chief Edelman is talking about the actual consoles in dispatch themselves. They are older analog-type consoles with big buttons that you push.  It’s about 20 year old technology.  The new technology is all computer based which offers us a higher level of benefit in terms of incorporating more with your CAD system including geographic location of vehicles through automatic vehicle locating. For the Fire Department side of it where approximately 9% of our calls annually are mutual aid, whether we are responding somewhere to help someone else in another community or people are coming into Mayfield Village to help us, due to our manpower being at only 4 personnel per shift, we have to rely on our neighbors to help us. Currently we have to contact dispatch and let them know our availability and we have to make a decision of who to call if we are not available.  Having a higher level of technology and different modules, the computer will find the closest available vehicle that can be respond.

Mr. Saponaro asked, if you are dealing with another community that does not have this technology, do you have to be speaking the same language or it doesn’t work?

Chief Carcioppolo replied, that’s why we are discussing this topic. If we are all on the same page, we can start to realize operational benefits.

Mr. Saponaro stated, but if Mayfield Heights and Highland Heights decided not to, these are close communities for us.

Chief Carcioppolo agreed. I don’t know I have a specific answer as to when they would be incorporated into that mix. If we stay single entities, we will not be realizing those benefits.

Mr. Saponaro asked, if we had the technology that we should have, we would still be having this conversation because again you are still talking about everyone on the same page?  So if we go on the system today and the other communities that surround us do not, how are we benefitting?

Chief Carcioppolo replied, if none of the communities around us do, the benefit would be more of a monetary benefit than an operational benefit at this point in time.  Operationally, I don’t see how we could survive by not doing it because of the amount of mutual aid we rely upon.  Part of both of the quotes from both vendors here today included station alerting.

Mr. Saponaro asked, but if we rely on mutual aid to communities that are not going to be a part of this program, how are we benefitting from that?

Chief Carcioppolo replied, that’s part of why this is a topic that can’t be hammered out in one night or one discussion. It’s going to take time. When you have neighbors that don’t necessarily want to play because they want to keep their kingdom as it is, that does make it difficult, but there are a lot of communities surrounding us that we utilize in our mutual aid box alarm system on a daily basis that are looking at the same issue seriously because they either need to or they want to because of the benefits from it.  I know we are not here to discuss which proposal to go with, but if you look at them, they are both written as a group for the most part. They are both proposals designed for a group of us going together. 

Chief Edelman stated, a large part of the effort we have been working toward for the past two years has been to keep the Hillcrest area SPAN together in this process.  There are one or two communities that don’t want to join in with us.  We have made the effort to bring everyone in together, but ultimately they will feel the detriment and eventually they will wind up coming along too.

Mr. Marrie stated, I would imagine that Highland Heights would be the closest to us for mutual aid.  I understand they are going on their own. We will not be able to take advantage of their help.

Chief Edelman replied, sure you will.  It’s like it is now.  We will just have to go the extra step of calling them on the phone or radio and asking them to respond.  It doesn’t matter about the size of the community surrounding us, it’s really where the incident happens.  If it’s closer to Highland Heights, we call them for mutual aid.

Chief Carcioppolo, so it would not change from what we do currently today.  If dispatch tells us we have a call and we are on another call and not available, the officer in charge will say we can or cannot handle it and based on the location advise who to call.  If they are busy, there’s more lapse in time because dispatch calls us back and tells us they are not available, what do we do next?  It is a growing pain to get all these communities into a regionalized center, but if you look at the data in Ohio comparatively to the rest of the States, we have a large amount of PSAPs comparatively to the rest, especially in Cuyahoga County where it is 40.

Chief Edelman stated, someone has to take that first step. We have discussed this ad nauseum in meetings with the various Chiefs of the other communities.  It’s like the old Life commercial, “I don’t want to try it, you try it”.  Someone has to try it, to be the first one to say, this is what is going to happen and it’s important for us to stay together. We are willing to take that step.

Mr. Jerome asked, let’s say we stayed on our own and upgraded our equipment.  Let’s say Highland Heights did the same thing.  Even though we are not regionally combined, we still have modernized equipment that would help compared to what we have today, correct?

Chief Edelman replied, we would still be able to communicate with them over the radio just like we do now.

Mr. Saponaro asked, the only way to do the vehicle locator is to go through a system like this?

Chief Edelman explained, it’s not just a vehicle locater, it’s having a system in one place for communities that surround each other and work together. 

Mr. Saponaro stated, that’s where the difference is for me.  It’s not in one place.  It’s not in a place close to us.  It’s somewhere else in the County, but it’s supposed to benefit us here. I would feel more comfortable if it was here or somewhere close to us.  I may be getting my facts and figures mixed up a little bit, but my concern is more if we are trying to keep the Hillcrest communities together because that’s who we rely on, now we have a call center that’s not even by us.  I don’t understand the mechanism of how that would work.

Mr. Marquardt asked, in this case of mutual aid, if the other surrounding communities were in the same system, would it be able to determine how loaded the individual community is and will it pick the proper one closest and least loaded?

Chief Carcioppolo, yes.  It would know where your vehicles are and their availability.  It has an algorithm that defines which vehicle will respond closest based on the geographic location and what unit is needed.

Chief Neumann added, the system he is talking about is a computer aided dispatch system (CAD system) which carries on a lot of interfaces.  Just about everything in the center is interfaced into that CAD system.  It runs by algorithms. Sometimes they are called run cards where in a certain geographical block you have this type of incident. The CAD system knows in a millisecond that I need to send this type of resource to that area.  If that resource I would normally send there is not available, I go to the next closest. CAD dispatches calls by one of two ways, purely by run card, a written algorithm or by automatic vehicle location (AVL).  It’s basically a GPS on each one of the vehicles integrated into the system. The more agencies you have linked into this system, the better it works because it can see everything.  If a firefighter or police officer pushes an emergency call button on their radio, the CAD system automatically knows what radio that is, who it belongs to and through AVL has a good idea of where they are at if they need to get help. It could be a police officer that has encountered difficulty on a call. That’s called differential response.  The notification of the fire stations, if there’s a house fire for example, the mutual aid box alarm system houses a 701 and knows we have to send 4 suppression units, two ambulances and a chief officer.  All those resources come from different areas. Some of them come internally and some externally.  The reason we send those resources is because it complies with NFPA.  Through an integrated CAD system, it will know which unit is available. 

Mr. Saponaro asked, where is the dispatcher in all of this?

Chief Neumann replied, there are three tiers right now of redundancy.  The dispatcher answers the 911, location of the emergency, she hears it in her ear, she sees it on an interactive map, she verifies it in CAD.  That whole process takes about a second to second and a half.  Once she hits the enter key, it sends the call to another dispatcher, CAD makes a recommendation, that dispatcher looks at her screen to make sure those units are available, they hit the enter key, station tones go off simultaneously. The big gain is time in medical emergencies. 

One of the items mentioned was why not keep our center? There is a lot of duplication of services.  Sometimes it can be more cost-effective to have a dispatch services agreement versus all of the infrastructure necessary to maintain for a smaller jurisdiction.  It is less cost to the taxpayers to consolidate.  The units have mobile data systems in them.  That’s also integrated into the CAD system where they can see what’s going on.  They can see the pending calls. They can get information.  Because it’s GPS, there’s integrated mapping in the unit.  You don’t want the fire department or police officers to get lost while on the way to your call.  A lot of integration between radios, CAD, automatic vehicle location which comes down to cost savings as well as getting a fire engine, rescue and police car at Mrs. Jones’ front door a lot quicker because when they call 911, truly they don’t care whose sticker is on the side of the truck. All they know is their loved one is having difficulty breathing or a heart attack. They want a truck in their front yard quickly.  That’s what it all comes down to at the end of the day.

Mr. Marrie stated, it sounds extremely fast and there are benefits.  If the surrounding areas, such as Mayfield Heights and Highland Heights, don’t have the same system, then we don’t have the full benefit of what you just talked about, is that correct?

Chief Neumann replied, that’s a correct statement.  There are ways where you can start bringing them in to the fold.  For example, fire station alerting would speed it up where some stations might be alerted, some stations would have to be telephone calls. That’s where the system slows down and it puts more on that dispatcher that is managing that call.

Mr. Marrie asked, if we were to go with this on our own, say the others don’t want to do it, what great benefit would we have if we go into this investment that would help you and the residents, if we are on our own.

Chief Carcioppolo asked, if we just went and no other community went with us?  We would lose the technological benefit because we don’t currently have mobile data terminals or the higher level CAD dispatching capability we have now.  Right now, if we were sent to go to Governor’s Village for a call, while we are in route, we can pull up our pre-plans for that facility which will give us a floor plan of the structure with all of the key points we need to know, such as where the gas shut-off is, the main electrical shut off, if the building is sprinklered or not, where fire department connections are. That is all beneficial to us. Currently we don’t have mobile data terminals. That’s one of the first things I have identified as a deficiency in our department when I took over as the Chief.  It’s something I have been working towards implementing but with this on the horizon, which has been discussed for years, and most seriously discussed since 2012 or 2013; I have multiple studies in front of me from the Department of Administrative Services from the State of Ohio plus Cuyahoga County’s consolidation plan and the CSU consolidation study. 

To sum it all up, we would have a better level of dispatch capability than what we currently do and even though we wouldn’t have everyone with us, we wouldn’t be any further behind than we are right now in that regard because right now our dispatchers have to look at our box, call the surrounding communities and call CECOMs in order to have these other communities respond.  We would be gaining the technological end of it and we would be gaining an economic benefit from it.  We would be helping this area go to that final destination.  It is something that, unless this has changed and I was just on Ohio Law Writer and it’s still there, Ohio Revised Code 128.571 is where all this started.  The State makes a mandate.  Because of how grossly overpopulated the amount of PSAPs in Ohio is and even if we were to keep it here, the writing is on the wall that we would not be able to self-sustain. Eventually we would have to be combining.

Mr. Saponaro asked, we wouldn’t be able to self-sustain because why?  Because we are going to be required to do this?

Chief Carcioppolo replied, if we stayed by ourselves, everyone else is eventually going to be consolidated into another center, so we would be so far behind everyone because we would not be realizing the operational benefits and the economic benefits which at this point in time may not be as important to Mayfield Village, but it’s only right that it should be considered as a point of order.

Mr. Saponaro stated, everything’s important.  But you use the word mandate, so what’s the mandate?

Chief Carcioppolo asked Brandy, would you like to comment on that?

Brandy Carney

Cuyahoga County Public Safety

The ORC the Chief is referencing is a mandate that the State put out that is specific to funding.  Right now, we receive what’s called Wireless Government Assistance Fund. The County receives that money right now on behalf of all the PSAPs in the County for all the cellphones. There’s a tax put on all cellphones and we receive that money. What the ORC states is that by 2018, if you aren’t down to five or less PSAPs, that funding can only be distributed within those five PSAPs. 

There’s a couple things that are important to note.  One is that the way the funding is currently set up within the County, we wouldn’t be affected because right now CECOMs receives the funding.  However, for example the new 911 project where everyone is receiving 911 funding and new 911 hardware, they will be a recipient of this money.  The County is not keeping this money. We are buying hardware for everyone.  It’s important to note that over the last year, at the beginning of the year they were very progressive in wanting to identify the definition of a PSAP for this very reason because they had said that they wanted to put up some mandates that State-wide there is PSAP consolidation.

I can say that that has kind of tailored off in the last six months at the State.  I attend all the State meetings. We have a lobbyist down there also. However, I do think that is going to pick back up.  We were an anomaly up here. When Cuyahoga County released the 911 plan, we had 48 PSAPs within the County.  A PSAP is a public safety answering point dispatch center.  At that point in time, Franklin County had the second most and they had 12.  The redundancies we have, there was a lot of them up here. That’s why two years ago the County decided to put out a 911 consolidation plan specific to the County to address these consolidations. While there is funding and ORC mandates, it might not immediately affect us, but I do expect at some level that we will be changing.  What is the benefit?  I completely understand your question.  You guys are self-supporting.

Mr. Saponaro stated, it’s not necessarily about the self-supporting part.  The biggest concern I am hearing from our residents is how are services going to be maintained or made better and how can they be sure of that?  Is there data to this effect?  Understanding that the technology may be the first piece for us if no one else around us does this, that could be the first benefit and then as other communities fall in line, there are more benefits. Economics is always a part of it. We have to be fiscally responsible.  But it’s really about the quality of services.  That’s why people live in the Village and that’s why they stay here because of the services we offer.

Ms. Carney replied, absolutely.  In no way did I mean it to sound that way. But you are absolutely right. I can tell you and I am sure that Nick on behalf of Chagrin can also tell you, if you do decide to go to consolidation, we want to make sure that the end user sees no difference and the person calling sees better service.  We can provide data to support that. We want it to be as seemless and as transitionless as possible for the end user calling 911. 

There are some benefits to the regional center training.  If you have a one person dispatcher, it’s hard to send them out to some of the conferences available to learn about some of the new progressive things going on and new training opportunities. The more people you have in that center, the more opportunities you might have for training.  Emergency medical dispatch is instruction provided on the phone before an EMS squad can get to a house. If you have only one person sitting in that chair, that might be difficult because an EMD call might usually be three minutes so other calls are coming in at that time and that’s difficult for a one person dispatch center.  Having multiple people on shift is another benefit.

Mr. Jerome stated, the one thing I kept seeing from residents was something happened a couple years ago and Mayfield Village responded quickly. They are asking how a dispatch center that wasn’t Mayfield Village could respond if I didn’t know the address of where I was at or I gave them a landmark, something they don’t know because they don’t deal with it every day.

Chief Edelman asked Nick DiCicco from Chagrin Valley to speak to that.

Nick DiCicco

Chagrin Valley Dispatch

Thanks for having me.  We have been a regional dispatch center for over 65 years.  We just relocated to the basement of Bedford Hospital where in the last 14 months we have consolidated four additional PSAPs.  It’s Chagrin Valley, Hunting Valley, Moreland Hills, Gates Mills.  We pride ourselves with high level service.  I can’t tell you how many times we get phone calls from Mrs. Smith saying, my grandson is in town, can you send one of the boys over to install the car seat?  We do it on a daily basis. The level of service we provide our residents is second to none. We will answer every single 10 digit phone call, whether it’s for, can you help me pick up a package, can you take us to the airport to Fluffy’s missing.  We take that very seriously.

Mr. Marrie asked, you handle that for how many villages or cities?

Mr. DiCicco replied, 12.

Mr. Marrie asked, they are all handled through you, no matter where they are calling from?

Mr. DiCicco replied, correct.

Mr. Marrie asked, and because of the system, you can pinpoint it like the Chief was talking before?

Mr. DiCicco replied, correct.

Mr. Saponaro asked, but the 911s from cellphones still has to come through CECOMs to get to you, correct?

Mr. DiCicco replied, correct.  And we will be petitioning the 911 board next year like the City of Cleveland did.  We will be attempting to get our own 911 wireless calls routed to our center.  The City of Cleveland sometime this year will be doing that same thing.  All 911 wireless calls will be going to the Cleveland dispatch center.

Mr. Marrie asked, excuse my ignorance because this is all really new for me, the calls that you would get, if we went with the new system because of the technology and say we went in with your group, us having this technology here, we would have full benefit even though a couple of the surrounding ones close to us didn’t?

Chief Edelman replied, if we decided to consolidate with whichever service we chose, we wouldn’t have that equipment here in Mayfield Village. It would be housed at Chagrin Valley.

Mr. Jerome stated, so we wouldn’t need to make that investment.  One more question, someone gives a landmark or billboard, your dispatch is set up where they can try to figure out the location? 

Mr. DiCicco replied, all cellphones now are required to have a GPS in them so if I dial from a cellphone, it’s called rebidding and every 30 seconds, the call is rebid to find out where they are at.  If you call from a landline phone, we start asking, where are you at? What do you see?

Mr. Marrie asked about the mandate in 2018.  Will they come down and say you have to have this?

Mr. Saponaro replied, no, it’s a funding mechanism.  I would compare it to when everyone had to make sure that the drinking age was 21 and if it wasn’t, it was tied to the funding for repairs to highways.  If they don’t go down to five by 2018, the funding is jeopardized.

Ms. Carney added, how it is written right now, it’s not, but that is correct.  As centers throughout the County get larger and more regional, and let’s say they request to receive that funding directly just like City of Cleveland for example, then if you get more than five of these regional centers then yes, it could potentially be jeopardized depending upon how they define a PSAP because right now it reads that only five PSAPs could be a recipient of the funding.  There was talk about depending upon the corridor, there’s a lot of talk at the State.  Most of it is specific to their initial goal in this which was encouraging trying to consolidate PSAPs and push for regionalization throughout the State.

Mr. Saponaro asked, Mayor Renda, do you mind giving us your thoughts with the system?  Have you been in office without it and then with it?

Mayor Renda

Moreland Hills

I have been in office when we were dispatching out of Chagrin Falls Police Department.  A little over a year ago we moved to Bedford.  The quality of service has always been great but it’s even better now in my estimation because of the technology. When you go there, and you should go to both places to see them to help you understand because you can see the cars on the board, seeing that made me understand how this works and how great it is. While my residents may not have noticed an improvement in dispatching, I know there is an improvement in dispatching just because of the technology. Speaking of my residents, they love the dispatch.  They are used to a high level of service. They are pleased with the level of service they have gotten.

The other thing I like about our system is we are a Council of Governments.  When Nick and I were before Euclid Council last summer, they asked, how are we going to be sure you won’t raise our rates the minute we join? The answer to that is, if I vote to raise your rates, I also vote to raise my own rates which I don’t like. The way we operate now is one community one vote. If any community is to come in to the Chagrin Valley Dispatch, you automatically join the Council of Governments. Then you have a say over how your dispatch is run. For me that’s important. 

Mr. Saponaro replied, I appreciate that. Especially the level of service. Were your residents unhappy you were going towards this?  Was there trepidation and then those concerns were waylaid?  Because you didn’t have dispatch on site to begin with.

Mayor Renda stated, it wasn’t such a big deal for Moreland Hills residents but other communities have joined recently and their residents have been very pleased too. I know this from talking to their Mayors. There was trepidation in other communities as they joined, but they found no difference in the level of service and maybe even improved services.

Mr. Saponaro stated, okay. Obviously fiscally from a bottom line perspective?

Mayor Renda replied, it’s great.

Mr. Marrie asked, it’s improved for the Chief in the system, but the residents wouldn’t have known the difference anyways, how would they know it was improved?

Mayor Renda replied, residents of Moreland Hills wouldn’t have noticed, but residents of North Randall would.

Mr. Marrie asked, why?

Mayor Renda replied, because they have a faster response time because someone is always there to pick up the phone, because the dispatchers are very kind and caring and so they have noticed.

Mr. Jerome added, and the money savings.

Mr. Saponaro stated, plus Moreland Hills did not have a dispatcher. You relied on Chagrin Falls.  It was a different scenario.  But in the discussions you have had with other Mayors in other communities that had dispatch on site and now gone to this model, you are finding that even though there was trepidation, ultimately the residents are pleased?

Mayor Renda replied, correct, very pleased.  We will be bringing the City of Euclid on board April 1st.   We are going to do an outreach to the residents before we do that. We are going to ask them to come to an open house and see our dispatch center so that they will then gain a level of comfort seeing that level of technology we have.  I am in communication with their Mayor.  I am the President of the Council of Governments.  I am in constant communication with their Mayor to see if there are any questions I can answer. We are really a very full service hands on organization.

Mr. Jerome stated, we have been talking a lot about technology. Technology moves so quick today. You get a new phone every year and it can be worlds ahead.  Let’s say we stayed on our own. We spend the money.  That’s well and good. What happens in five years when technology has changed so rapidly again?  We had a huge investment and now would need to get the next best thing.  By joining a regional group, it lessens the cost when you have more people paying in to that system. They can continually upgrade the technology.

Mr. Saponaro stated, there’s a lot of great arguments and good discussion going on. The fact that you all have been talking about it for years and we haven’t has been a big disservice. Not intentional by any stretch but it’s really hard to jump on while the train is moving and everyone’s excited about it because it obviously has great things when we haven’t been at the station to get the information.  Some of the trepidation you are getting here is not because there’s no value or it’s not worth exploring, but it’s kind of, this is new. This is not something that we have said is coming down the road, hey Council, we have been talking about this, we talked to you in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and 2013 and now we are in 2015 and are ready for it.  I just want you to understand where we are coming from. That’s why it has taken us a little time and we are going to do some more vetting here.

Mr. Marquardt stated, I had to step out for another meeting.  If other communities don’t join, Chagrin Valley is not going to help much with mutual aid, are they?

Chief Edelman replied, the mutual aid comes from the SPAN Hillcrest communities. The effort on our part has been to keep those communities together.  Whether we go with CECOMs or Chagrin Valley is irrelevant. The important thing is we make every effort to go together.

Mr. Saponaro asked, what if one community is in CECOMs and the other is in Chagrin Valley?

Chief Edelman replied, that is what we are trying to overcome. We are trying to keep everyone together.

Chief Carcioppolo added, that’s also almost no different than what we do now.

Mr. Saponaro asked, why? Why would it be no different than now?

Chief Carcioppolo replied, because now Mayfield Village has to call.

Mr. Saponaro stated, but you have these PSAPs that are technology, a membership, join us or join us.  I don’t mean to downplay it.  Why would it matter if the Hillcrest community, three of them went here and two of them went here, we are not in the same one and now we have to go back to picking up the phone and calling them?  Is that correct?

Chief Carcioppolo replied, that’s what we are doing now. So we wouldn’t necessarily gain the complete benefit of all of us going intact. A lot of what I have heard is how can someone dispatch us from another location?

Mr. Saponaro asked, so if we make the wrong choice of who to join, then did we just waste time doing that?  I guess I don’t understand that. Technology group here, technology group there, so these PSAPs don’t talk to each other?  Those communities don’t talk to each other and if there’s an issue, you don’t help each other out?

Ms. Carney replied, I would say we do.  He’s trying to explain the technology on-site benefits.  Everyone integrated into that PSAP system, if you decide to go with CECOMs for example, you would be integrated into our system or if you went with one of the other.

Mr. Saponaro asked, what if a mutual aid community for us is in another system, how does that work?

Ms. Carney replied, you might still gain some other benefits, having technology maintenance, but some of the specific operational benefits that the Chief is talking about, no.

Mr. Saponaro asked, so the PSAPs don’t talk to each other?

Ms. Carney replied, we do, but everyone wouldn’t be on-site integrated into the system, so our PSAP would still have to call your PSAP to find out if those units or squads were available, which is exactly what they are doing right now if they are calling another system.

Mr. DiCicco replied, not automatically.  It’s not integrated.

Mr. Saponaro stated, it’s not automatic.  They wouldn’t have to do it, the PSAP would do it to the other PSAPs, so if we have five PSAPs and you have five communities here that are all on a different one?

Ms. Carney replied, correct. The PSAPs would handle that.  It wouldn’t come back to the cities.

Mr. Saponaro stated, so on one level we are saying, we have to get there, we have to be a part of it.  On another level, it depends on what the other communities do that could really affect us or not affect us, right?

Ms. Carney replied, with this specific instance, I would say yes. There’s a lot of other benefits.  But specific as far as mutual aid in the system and response time and units available which I think is where this conversation started, I would say yes within the dispatch center there still would be some delay, however, if two of the SPAN communities went to one and two went to the other –

Chief Carcioppolo stated, it would be better than what we are doing now.

Ms. Carney replied, correct. 

Mr. Saponaro stated, the PSAP would call the other one. They would have their communities to figure out much quicker than going to each community. So there would be a benefit to it. It’s not the same as being integrated within the same PSAP but there certainly would be a benefit there.  It’s one call to one other PSAP.

Mr. Marquardt asked, if we joined Chagrin Valley, and you don’t have very good mutual aid, but you have the other benefits, you don’t have close by communities, and the other communities close by decide to go with CECOMs or something like that, why can’t we switch at the time the other groups joined to pick up the rest of the benefits of the mutual aid as well as the other benefits?

Chief Carcioppolo replied, I think part of what you need to understand is this process where we have been discussing this for the last two years, the goal is not to have to move and keep moving.  If that was the case, I would say, let’s just spend the money and outfit our facility here to make it amicable for everyone.

Mr. Marquardt asked, what are you moving? If this call center is over here, you switch from one to the other, what are you moving?

Chief Carcioppolo stated, I was just trying to explain to you what we were talking about, putting it here for the last year and a half. The goal of doing that and getting everyone to come to our place wasn’t realized because the cost and knowing that these other communities wouldn’t come to our facility, that opened the door for these discussions. This discussion ultimately is probably the best discussion, for us to join into one of the larger consolidated centers because we wouldn’t be able to do that. Your question as to why we didn’t just move from here to there is because the amount of equipment we are going to receive in our end and the actual capability of transferring all of our data.

Chief Edelman stated, I am not sure you are following Mr. Marquardt’s question.  If I understand you, you are wondering if we join one of these centers and we discover –

Mr. Saponaro added, we join CECOMs –

Chief Edelman continued, we join CECOMs let’s say, and we discover down the road that it isn’t the right fit for us for whatever reason, can we then move somewhere else?

Mr. Marquardt stated, right.

Chief Edelman replied, once the term of the contract is up, it’s up to us to do.

Mr. Marquardt asked, there isn’t any big fixed cost?

Chief Edelman replied, there is a capital outlay, but CECOMs is waiving the capital outlay, Chagrin Valley has a formula in place to offset the capital outlay, so essentially the cost to us is the annual fee.

Chief Carcioppolo stated, but I would not want to recommend going somewhere, I guess, yes, if there’s a problem, you could look at another option.

Mr. Saponaro stated, say this is phenomenal, but every other community around us is at the other one, so the whole point was we should all go there.  It’s not even about a quality of service, it’s about, we have not convinced the other communities to link on to jump in together.  They won’t do that right now. We don’t have a choice because Highland Heights is not part of it, right?

Chief Carcioppolo replied, Highland Heights is not part of it no. They don’t want anything to do with it.

Mr. Saponaro stated, right. So what I am saying is, we want to keep the Hillcrest communities together. That’s not going to happen.

Chief Carcioppolo stated, but I think Chief Carroll and Chief Neumann being here is representative of the fact that they support the concept and idea.  If you have any questions about that for them I would say you should ask them.

Mr. Saponaro stated, it’s more about the fact that you are making it almost sound like an all or nothing proposition before we would move. That’s not what I think it is.  We would love if everyone joined together, but it’s not going to happen.

Chief Carcioppolo replied, absolutely. That’s probably not going to happen.

Mr. Saponaro stated, so we know that, so now, as you said earlier on, we are Mikey.  We are going to try it and we are hoping that by us doing it, if this is what Council wants, if we try it, then others will join and hopefully come to where we are versus deciding to go somewhere else.

Ms. Calta stated, I don’t get a vote. You guys know that. But the one thing I am hearing is to go visit these places because you need to see it.  I am a visual person.  I have heard that they are spectacular.  It would put it into perspective.  It’s one of those things you need to see.  I think the Chiefs would agree.

Mr. Marrie replied, I agree. I have never been in one of them and have never seen it.  If we do this, no matter who we do it with and our neighbors aren’t going to be part of it, will that affect your mutual aid you have here with them now?

Chief Edelman replied, no.  If we were to join the other centers and let’s say I needed Highland Heights for mutual aid, that PSAP would have to call Highland Heights.  Just like we do now.   I don’t know how to explain this without really picking on Highland Heights, for whatever reason they don’t want to be part of this right now. That’s a decision made by the Mayor and two Chiefs. We shouldn’t let the Highland Heights’ decision influence Mayfield Village and the rest of the SPAN Hillcrest communities.

Mr. Saponaro stated, I don’t feel like it is. I thought it was for you because you guys all wanted to go in together so when Bill was asking if we want to move from a to b, we can’t control what other communities do.  If we follow through on this and need to move for whatever reason, we have the ability to do it. At the end of the contract, we move and we don’t get hit with hundred thousand dollar penalties and things of that nature, or we have to rebuild infrastructure or do something crazy like that. That’s not all part of it.  We will make the decision on our own and certainly not be influenced.

Mr. Marrie stated, for good reason, the SPAN is near and dear to your heart because it helps the whole community. I want to make sure that no matter what we did, we weren’t affecting that.

Mr. Saponaro stated, the one thing we didn’t talk about is our current dispatch employees.  Obviously there’s a big concern here.  I know it was intimated at our Council meeting that there would be opportunities for these employees at the other PSAPs and we also talked about the fact that the non-emergency numbers, calls in to Mayfield Village would still be answered by us.  From that standpoint, what is the plan in terms of the number of employees we have right now if we were to go into either one of these PSAPs knowing that we are going to be fielding the non-emergency calls, what about the opportunities they may or may not have for employment?

Chief Edelman replied, as far as the non-emergency calls, both Randy and Nick stated that they answer every 10 digit phone call that comes in, emergency and non-emergency. It’s a matter of transferring the call back to someone here in the Village that can help with that issue, that’s what they will do.  What we spoke of last week at the Council meeting was in the eventuality that they weren’t able to do that, that we still wanted to provide that service for the residents of Mayfield Village, whether they wind up calling us here or wind up calling one of the dispatch centers, we still want to provide that non-emergency service to the residents of Mayfield Village.  Both of their centers are able to handle that. They are able to answer those non-emergency calls.

Mr. Saponaro stated, I understand that, but I thought the calls that are going there are 911 calls, not the non-emergency number that someone dials directly.

Chief Edelman clarified, no, any 10 digit phone call that comes in to the police department will be answered by them, not just 911, so anyone who dials 461-1234 will be answered by them.

Mr. Saponaro asked, and the same with fire?

Mr. Marrie asked, and then they move it down to you?

Chief Edelman replied, they will dispatch it.  If it’s a non-emergency, they will transfer it over to the person who will handle that issue, whether it’s me, the detectives, Service Department, whoever.  They will answer those.

Ms. Carney replied, yes. We would want to make the transition if your PSAP is doing something now, that’s something the regional center would likely do. Sometimes there are small nuances, but for the most part, again, the seamless transition, we would do the services you do currently.

Mr. Saponaro asked, so from that standpoint, it doesn’t appear to be any employee retention when it comes to the current dispatch employees because it’s going to go directly?

Chief Edelman stated, two different issues as far as retention. First of all, I would still need one or two part-time clerks to help with the clerical duties that dispatchers do that are non-dispatch duties that they would not be able to do over there. Secondly, as far as the dispatchers I have now, it would only make sense, it’s only logical for either of these two centers to pick these people up because they know this community, they know the residents and they are familiar with our policies and procedures and the way we do things.  Again, I am going to ask both of you, is that something you are willing to do?

Mr. DiCicco replied, I can speak on behalf of us.  When we picked up the City of Euclid, I can’t do it without the people. We made conditional job offers. Only one person did not pass the background and psychological. The other seven people were hired.  No questions asked. It would be a disaster to do it without them.

Ms. Carney replied, I can say that working for County government, I can’t say for sure we would do anything, but as the Chief said, it’s only logical. When the applications for dispatch come to me, the people I am going to want to hire are people who have been doing it and know that job.  Crazy not to.

Mr. Marrie asked, logically, if Mayfield Village went with this, would you need them?  You needed the seven from Euclid, would you need them from us also?

Mr. DiCicco replied, yes.

Mr. Marrie stated, I want to make sure ours aren’t left out.  I am concerned about the personnel as well as all of the other things.  As I said earlier, this is very different for me, but the personnel part is not different for me.

Chief Carcioppolo replied, to be fair to them, I don’t know if these are questions they can answer right now.

Mr. Marrie stated, that’s a what if.  I understand, Chief.   There’s a path there.

Mr. Saponaro stated, they both answered that it would make sense because they know the community. No one can get guarantees, but we don’t want our current dispatchers to think we don’t consider them, value them and have them understand that if this is the best way to go for the Village, we are also looking out for their future as well.

Chief Carcioppolo stated, I would like to go back and say that both Chief Edelman and I have been very conscious of that the whole time.  During Mayor Rinker’s presentation last week, he explained that his goal was if we were to make a move like this, it would be part of the deal, that they would be trying to incorporate those positions in to whatever move we would make.

Mr. Saponaro stated, we need to stop this because we have the rest of our agenda.  We stopped at a good spot. We appreciate it.  This has been hugely beneficial to us. You have brought us up to speed in a lot quicker way than we could do on our own. Thank you for providing the information. It helps tremendously.

Mr. Marrie stated, like Diane said, I think we should schedule a visit.

Mr. Saponaro stated, that would be the next step for us.

Mr. Jerome asked, did everyone that came who wanted to say something do so?

Chief Carroll

Lyndhurst Fire Department

I have been involved with some of these dispatch discussions since I have been Chief for four years.  I am a huge proponent of regional dispatch.  Mayor Cicero is also. We are looking at CVD and CECOMs. We are going to look at Edge and the Beachwood group. No decisions have been made at this point.  Kind of like all of you, Council has taken into consideration the concerns that you also have.  I agree with Chief Edelman and Chief Carcioppolo. We would like to go collectively if we can. There are a lot of operational efficiencies that will be positive, but if it doesn’t happen that way, it doesn’t happen. There are ways we can get around it, but it just wouldn’t be as effective.  But I would have to say Lyndhurst is definitely actively pursuing participating.

Mr. Saponaro asked, let us know when you get to a point where you are able to decipher where you think you are going to go. If we are trying to get people to go together, that certainly would help us understand and maybe you can tell us why at that point you picked one over the other. That would be beneficial for our community as well.

One real positive thing that has come out of the meetings the last year that Mayor Rinker spearheaded in Mayfield Village, like Lyndhurst, we have been trying to get people from our center. Our center four years ago was hit by lightning.  I was a big advocate of saying let’s shut it down and go to South Euclid or Mayfield Heights.  At the time we elected to put some money into the center. It was mostly covered by insurance and try to bring people into our center.  Bluntly I think that a lot of communities weren’t ready for that.  Now that the conversations we have had over the last year have been very positive, especially on the law enforcement side, 18 months ago, I would say even Chief Rowe was strongly going somewhere else.  Bring it in to Lyndhurst, we should host it, we have the court, people come here all the time.  Now he has opened his eyes and is much more open to going somewhere else. As CVD has proved, they were located in Chagrin Falls, they moved to Bedford.  People didn’t realize that.  They pick up the phone, call 911, you want a dispatcher to answer the phone. It was a relocation.  They have added additional entities. Even with CECOMs, anyone can answer your phone. At the end, the person placing the call just wants you to show up and take care of business. We will definitely keep you guys informed.

Mr. Saponaro stated, please. We would appreciate it. Thank you very much.

2. Windows – new and repairs – 6827 Thornapple (Advantage Contracting – not to exceed $7,000)

Mr. Marrelli reported, the house we are renting to Jim Deacon, the front picture window is leaking into the wall. We did an inspection on the house.  The house is going to be sold. We will be putting it on the market after he moves out some time in the summer. All summer I have been trying to get guys to go out there and look at it.  Finally one guy went out and dug into it pretty deep. That’s the estimate I have here.  He will repair the walls and replace the windows and the house will be ready to be put on the market.

Mr. Marrie asked, this is repair in addition to the windows?

Mr. Marrelli replied, it’s both.  He is hoping he doesn’t run in to any more than he thinks he will, but you won’t know until you open it up.

Mr. Saponaro stated, if you think there’s going to be more, you may want to reconsider that number, just do a not to exceed higher.

Mr. Marrelli replied, I threw a few hundred dollars extra into it.

Mr. Jerome asked, this is obviously windows. We want to try to sell the house.  Are there other things that are going to come up?

Mr. Marrelli replied, we went through everything else. Everything else is up to par.

Mr. Jerome asked, for $7,000 it’s worth it because if someone comes in to buy it, this is some damage that has to be addressed?

Mr. Marrelli replied, we don’t want to sell it like that. If there’s a mold issue and they open up the wall, they would say that’s nice, the Village sold me this house, let it get moldy and sold it to me.

Mr. Jerome stated, that’s good.  I have had discussions with people about how much you put into something that you will get back, but from our perspective we need the house to be okay.

Mr. Marrelli stated, I am sure we bought it at the height of the house prices, so we will not get what paid for on it.

3. Renewal of Dental Insurance.

Mr. Wynne reported, both plans are up for renewal on April 1st.  Our initial quote from dental came in with an increase of 6.1%. We have not had an increase in three years now. We went back to them. I wanted to get a two year lock on the quote. They came back with 6.1% for the first year and they would cap the increase for the second year at 7.5%. We weren’t interested in that, so they came back with an increase of 7.9% and then they would lock the price in for two years. In terms of dollars, that would be $3,900. At this point, my recommendation would be to go with the two year lock with the 7.9% increase. This is with Delta Dental.

4. Renewal of Life Insurance.

Mr. Wynne reported, they came in with a 10.5% increase.  Again, we have not had an increase for two years.  The insurance consultant went back to them and they negotiated it down to 3.5% which amounts to $139 for the whole year.

5. 2015 Budget.

Mr. Saponaro stated, in our packets Friday, Council received the proposed budget for 2015. Thank you for getting it to us quickly. I think from our perspective we need to really go through it ourselves and be able to come back and have a more meaningful discussion.  I don’t know if there’s anything you wanted to say to us about it that’s not already self-explanatory.

Mr. Wynne replied, no.   I got it to you earlier than usual because you requested it.  I am meeting with department heads this week to go over their budgets and see if there are any items they might want to have changed.  I will review this with the Mayor. It will need to go on three reads. It will be on the February Council meeting for first read. We will do a special meeting at the March Caucus for the second read and the final read at the March Council meeting.

Mr. Saponaro asked, are there any questions or comments?

Mr. Marquardt stated, it looks like a light agenda for the regular Finance meeting, so we can talk about it then.

6. Yearly assessment – Bureau of Workers’ Compensation

Mr. Wynne stated, I don’t have a final number for this yet. I will for the Council meeting.  We generally pay that during the month of February. This year should be about $20,000-25,000 less than last year’s because we had some claim experiences that have dropped off the calculation

7. New car changeovers and equipment (Northcoast Two-Way Radio, Inc. – not to exceed $23,000)

Chief Edelman reported, this is the equipment for our new cars that we received a few weeks ago. Unfortunately we are going from Fords to Chargers so there is all new equipment necessary because they are not interchangeable. The equipment we have on the Fords are at least 10 years old. This is a cost for new equipment for the cars.

Mr. Saponaro asked, for both?

Chief Edelman replied, for all three cars. It’s not the radios themselves. The radios are interchangeable.  It’s the prisoner screen, the seats, it’s everything else that’s fitted into the cars.

Mr. Jerome asked, are there other costs beyond that for outfitting the new cars?

Chief Edelman replied, the only other cost is to put the decals on the cars. That’s $150 a car.

Mr. Jerome stated, okay, so this covers everything. Sounds good. Thank you.

ANY OTHER MATTERS

Mr. Saponaro asked, are there any other matters?

Ms. Wolgamuth stated, Mayor Renda just handed me these letters of support. Do you want them attached to the Minutes or now?

Mr. Saponaro replied, why don’t you just pass them out now? We can look at them.  Make sure that the other Council people who are not here get them as well.

Mr. Saponaro asked, are there any other questions? There were none.

There being no further questions, the meeting adjourned at 7:55 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary E. Betsa, CMC

Clerk of Council