Caucus - July 7th 2014

MINUTES OF A COUNCIL CAUCUS
Monday, July 7, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.
Mayfield Village Civic Hall

The Council of Mayfield Village met in Caucus Session on Monday, July 7, 2014.  Council President Buckholtz called the meeting to order at 8:00 p.m.

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ROLL CALL:            

Present: Mr. Buckholtz, Mr. Jerome, Mr. Marquardt, Mr. Marrie, Mrs. Mills, Dr. Parker and Mr. Saponaro

Also Present: Mr. Wynne, Ms. Calta, Mr. Cappello, Chief Edelman, Mr. Dinardo, Mr. Metzung, Mr. Marrelli, Chief Carcioppolo, Mr. Thomas, Ms. Wolgamuth and Mrs. Betsa

Absent: Mayor Rinker and Mr. Esborn

Council President Buckholtz welcomed Mr. Saponaro back to the table.

FINANCE:

Tax Budget 2015

Mr. Wynne reported, this is something we are required to do every July with the County. When I put this together, I use the current year budget.  This item is on the Special Meeting Agenda for consideration by Council this evening.  It is due to the County by July 15th

Council President Buckholtz asked, are there any questions on this?  There were none.

Property and Casualty Insurance (Wichert Insurance - $80,000)

Mr. Wynne reported, this is the annual renewal of our business insurance.  Last year, the cost was $74,600. The invoices for now are $76,300. I am requesting $80,000 because during the policy year for the next 12 months we buy and trade vehicles.  There’s always some fluctuations.  This is just enough to make sure we have everything covered that takes place during the year.

Council President Buckholtz asked, do we do it as a not to exceed or for $80,000?

Mr. Wynne replied, you can do it as a not to exceed. This is also on the agenda for the Special Meeting for tonight.

RITA Cost of Collections

Mr. Wynne reported, RITA does all of our income tax collection processing for us. They charge 3% of every dollar we collect towards the cost of those collections. At the end of their year, they go through and analyze the expense.  If it comes in below 3% we get a rebate. The actual expenses came in at 1.07%, so on June 30th, we got a rebate of $312,608 which is about $32,000 higher than last year.

Bond legislation (Ordinance 2014-17)

Mr. Wynne reported, this is on the Special Meeting agenda this evening.  This is for the sale of the $4,270,000 in bonds at 2.5% to pay off the same dollar figure in bonds that are at 3.5%-5%.  This will save us about $330,000 in interest expense over the next 12 years by doing this. This whole transaction is going to be completed in the next couple weeks which is why passage is required tonight.

Bond legislation (Ordinance 2014-18)

Mr. Wynne reported, this is for the annual renewal of our outstanding Notes. Those Notes are $1.9 million right now. We will be paying down $800,000 against those. I am selling those for $1.1 million at the end of August.

Tax Levy Renewal Legislation

Mr. Wynne reported, we currently have on our real estate taxes a 2.3 mill renewal levy which was put in place in 1975.  It’s a renewal versus a replacement levy which means the taxes are based upon the value of the property in 1975 versus today’s value. There’s no tax on inflation as property values go up.  It generates about $100,000 in property tax revenue for us every year.  It gets renewed every five years. That renewal time is this year.  If it’s something we wish to move forward with, it will need to be approved at this month’s Council meeting so that we can get the information to the Board of Elections to have it on the ballot in November.

Dr. Parker stated, there was some discussion in Finance. Any Council members that were not there might want to look over the notes.

Council President Buckholtz stated, seeing as this is the Caucus before the Regular Meeting, I would be interested to know what the discussion was. 

Dr. Parker stated, there was discussion as to whether we actually did want to renew that levy from 1975. We discussed various thoughts on it, the amount, what it represented and if perhaps we should consider not renewing it.  It might send a positive message as well that we don’t necessarily always renew levies.  People should consider what was discussed and from many standpoints we might not want to consider renewing it since it is that old and for the other reasons that I mentioned.  There might be some valuable good faith shown to our taxpayers in terms of how we view our budgeting and what happens over time and whether things done in 1975 necessarily need to be renewed today.  That’s what the conversation revolved around.

Mr. Marquardt stated, it’s something to think about.

Council President Buckholtz stated, some questions were brought up during the year.  You said this typically generates how much money?

Mr. Wynne replied, about $100,000.

Council President Buckholtz asked, what is the average impact to the resident?

Mr. Wynne replied, anywhere from $50-80 a year.

Council President Buckholtz stated, we are talking about relatively small numbers.  I do agree with the idea of sending a message in whatever way we can.  It’s interesting you talked about 1975.  It’s still based on 1975 housing costs.  We got used to values rising each year. That has reversed itself. How does that affect it?  Are there potentially houses that have the same value or lesser value?

Mr. Marrie stated, it’s based on what they were taxed in 1975 or what they were evaluated at.  It’s never been changed.

Mr. Saponaro stated, that’s because it’s a renewal, not a replacement.

Council President Buckholtz asked, so it’s not on the new value?

Mr. Marrie replied, no.

Mr. Saponaro stated, if it was a replacement, it would be on the new value. The voters vote for it. They voted for it 7 times since 1975.

Council President Buckholtz suggested Finance look at it the next meeting and make a recommendation.

Mr. Jerome stated, there is a good chunk of money we are also used to having that’s going away with estate tax and the local government fund.  It’s something that should be reiterated.

Council President Buckholtz stated, so timing-wise we are losing other sources of money.

Mr. Wynne stated, those sources are pretty much gone now. That’s an impact of anywhere between $500,000-800,000 a year of revenue that we typically receive that we will no longer be receiving.

Dr. Parker stated, those sources were not long-term sources.  Things like estate taxes could change at any point. We could come into a big estate tax next year. We may not.

Ms. Calta stated, that’s been repealed.  Unless you have any estates that have not settled quite yet which is getting to be fewer and fewer. As of January 1, 2013, they did away with it.

Dr. Parker stated, we didn’t expect that to be something long term anyway. That’s like an added bonus.

Injury leave compensation to seasonal employee

Mr. Wynne stated, we currently provide wage continuation for full-time and permanent part-time employees when they are injured on the job, but nothing for seasonal employees. We had an individual in our Service Department who got injured on June 19th while on duty.  He had to undergo surgery.  He will definitely miss work for the balance of this year.  We will know in another few weeks whether he needs to undergo further surgery. With Workers’ Comp insurance, he will get compensated for 2/3rd’s of his normal base wages as part of the program. He is taken care of.  My recommendation is we pay that 2/3rd’s of his wages versus the Workers’ Comp program. The total cost of doing that is only $3,500. It gets him his money quicker and also keeps the cost of those wages out of our experience in the Workers’ Comp program and hopefully will not have an impact on our participation in the pooled rating program that we are currently in that saves us $30,000-40,000 a year.

Council President Buckholtz asked, any questions or comments?

Dr. Parker stated, it’s a relatively small amount in terms of Workers’ Comp.  It’s not something we felt the Village can’t take care of as opposed to perhaps something much larger.

Council President Buckholtz asked, how is the employee doing?

Mr. Metzung replied, he won’t know for another couple weeks to find out what is going to happen with the hand.

Council President Buckholtz stated, send him our concerns and well-wishes please.

POLICE DEPARTMENT:

LEADS Access Fee With Dynamic Multipoint Virtual Private Network Connection ($660 per month) (Replaces CRIS)

Chief Edelman stated, this is one of the criminal databases we use.  It is administered by the State of Ohio.  Currently we access it through the County. The County charges us $1,250 a month for that access and for a very limited database.  What I would like to do is get a direct access to LEADS and cut our costs in half to $600 a month with virtually no loss of service and subscribe directly to the State rather than to the County.

Council President Buckholtz asked, any questions or comments?

Mr. Marrie replied, it’s a no-brainer.

FIRE DEPARTMENT:

Chief Carcioppolo reported, all of the operational full-time employees have now completed their blue card training. It’s taken almost a year for everyone to get blue-card certified. I believe we are the first department in the Hillcrest area to have all of its full-time employees through that.

Exterior Building Maintenance (Mike’s Home Improvement - $17,415.00)

Chief Carcioppolo reported, we went out to get quotes on this with three different companies who do this work. The one we have on the agenda is Mike’s Home Improvement. They have been in business for 27 years and are rated by the Better Business Bureau as an A+. They were incorporated in 2003.  They came in with the same scope of work at $17,415.  This is a capital budget item to fix the exterior building. Paint is falling off. We are not going to repaint. We are going to clad everything in vinyl or aluminum depending on what it is to not have to deal with it again.  Any questions?

Council President Buckholtz asked, is it changing the look of the building at all?

Chief Carcioppolo replied, no, it’s going to be a more substantial permanent solution to the paint peeling.

Dr. Parker asked, in the long run it will save us money, correct?

Chief Carcioppolo replied, yes.  We had quotes in the fall of last year which were $8,000-12,000 to repaint it. The paint would have ended up doing the same thing again.  We decided it would be better to get it all clad.

Dr. Parker asked, what is the warranty?

Chief Carcioppolo replied, materials, lifetime and labor for 5 years.  The aluminum they are going to clad the building with is a commercial grade which is thicker than what you put on your house.

Hydraulic Unit for Fire Truck (Sutphen - $9,312.00)

Chief Carcioppolo reported, this was part of the fire truck purchase. We backed it out because it was going to save us $2,000. It will be drop shipped to the manufacturer.  It’s a simul unit that has an electric-driven hydraulic pump that will power our rescue tools.

Chief Carcioppolo stated, if you would like to offer the smoke alarm purchase again, we will have to consider it.  I don’t know how many people are going to buy them. They have consistently gone down every year. 

Mr. Jerome asked, is there a downside to offering it?

Chief Carcioppolo replied, no. We are going to save more lives.

Mr. Jerome stated, let’s do it again.

Council President Buckholtz asked, we buy them as needed, correct?

Chief Carcioppolo replied, if people want them, we help subsidize the purchase. 

Council President Buckholtz asked, we don’t get stuck with a whole bunch of them?

Chief Carcioppolo replied, we only buy them if people want them.

Mr. Jerome stated, offer them until everyone has one.

SERVICE DEPARTMENT:

Earthwork in the Raleigh Drive area

Mr. Metzung reported, I have received some complaints from residents regarding lights in the back of their homes at Derby Drive next to Raleigh where we tore the homes down to move the road.  This is the first step to do some earthwork in that area to help buffer the area with new plantings and earthwork to buffer the lighting.  It will be on the July agenda.  Don’t look for the work to commence until the end of August. I would like to be able to give whatever contractor gets the award the heads up so any dirt they come across they can hang on to for that purpose.

Council President Buckholtz asked, are there estimates as to the work?

Mr. Metzung stated, under $10,000.  I don’t want to say at this time.  I had one under $10,000, but I don’t want to be too specific. I am still looking for quotes.

PARKS & RECREATION:

Mr. Thomas stated, we had a great start at Parkview Pool.  We have had hot and humid weather.  Our attendance was higher this past June than last June.  We were open one less week this year because the schools did not close until June 12th.  Last year they closed on June 6th. I was pleased with the start. The umbrellas look great. Good feedback on that.

Mr. Marquardt asked, are you aware the school year is changing next year?

Mr. Thomas replied, I am aware of it. There will be interesting discussions.  They are looking at starting in mid-August and finishing up on Memorial weekend approximately. They are trying to have the first semester end before the holidays.  Now it goes until the end of January.  Their thought is to start in August and finish in December with the first semester and start in January and finish up on Memorial weekend.

Mr. Marquardt stated, the timing is driven by their State exams.

Mr. Jerome asked, this will affect the camp schedule too?

Mr. Thomas replied, for a lot of things. It will be interesting.  We need to start planning now.  I am working closely with the Superintendent.

Dr. Parker stated, college students are getting out before then still, correct?

Mr. Thomas replied, yes. They get out in mid-May.

Dr. Parker stated, so that won’t be a problem as far as college help.

Mr. Thomas replied, no. But they go back around the 15th when public schools will open up.  It’s a plus staff-wise.

SENIOR SERVICES:

Senior Snow Removal – 2014-2015

Mr. Thomas stated, this is our initial planning process for the Senior Snow Removal program for this coming year. We have to start the process early in order to get bids out to the contractors and letters to the residents.  It takes three or four months to get this whole thing started. 

Council President Buckholtz asked, what is the age to be considered a senior?

Mr. Thomas replied, 65.

Council President Buckholtz asked, any other questions?  There were none.

ENGINEERING:

Mr. Cappello reported, we are currently out to bid on three projects. The SWIF grant for the Civic Center Stormwater Improvement, the SOM Center Road traffic signal improvements at Wilson Mills and SOM and Aintree and SOM and the 2014 Street Striping Program.  Bids will be opened on July 18th. By the Council meeting on the 21st we should hopefully have recommendations.

Mr. Jerome asked, the driveway design, it will be made out of the pervious pavers coming into the Civic Center?  I know it’s a different project, but I am thinking of how the Library driveway kind of does that same kind of a curve. That driveway is a disaster.  It’s too narrow. It curves too much. I want to make sure that when we do the driveway coming into the Civic Center that it’s overdesigned and is a nice soft turn and wide enough.

Mr. Cappello replied, it’s a nice curve.  It doesn’t reverse.  It’s also 26 feet wide.

Council President Buckholtz asked, how does it compare in degrees of angle or width?

Mr. Cappello replied, I don’t have off the top of my head the actual radius.  It’s a large sweep coming in. Coming off of Wilson Mills, you will sweep in, make a 90 degree turn and there will be a circular or oblong cul de sac at the end of the turnaround.  You can either go into the parking lot or drop someone off and leave.

Mr. Metzung stated, it comes out almost to where the parking lot heads to the west. 

Mr. Jerome stated, it should be a pretty good design.

Mr. Metzung stated, a softer curve.

Mr. Jerome stated, it’s going to look nice.

LAW DIRECTOR:

Legislation authorizing and directing the Mayor to enter into an amendment to the Urban County Cooperation Agreement between Mayfield Village and Cuyahoga County

Ms. Calta stated, I understand there were some questions for more information about this agreement.  Hopefully Council received the original 1993 agreement in their packets along with the request for the amendment.  It seems to me it is a cleaning up of a policy they have implemented as far as allowing communities to transfer funds. This doesn’t allow any communities to do that.  I am here to answer any questions. I don’t know of any active or recent past applications for these funds from the County. They are pretty all-encompassing for certain community needs.  I don’t know if we have ever applied for them. They include things like community master plans.  You can apply for grants for community master plans, public infrastructure, demolition of residential and commercial properties, parks and playgrounds, community and senior centers, all sorts of things. Are there any other questions?

Mr. Jerome stated, it sounds like something we might want to look into to take advantage of.

Ms. Calta stated, unfortunately, I would defer that question to Ted who has a pass tonight since he is on his honeymoon.  I believe he will be back before the next meeting when this will be voted on.

Council President Buckholtz asked, what is the amendment?  I don’t know what the original questions were, but what is being amended?  Can you highlight specifically what is being amended?

Ms. Calta replied, the County has asked for the amendments. There’s 51 communities that have signed these agreements. The amendment is pretty simple. They want to include a provision in the agreement that none of the communities sell, trade or otherwise transfer any of their funds to any of their cities, counties, villages, townships.  It’s a little more detailed. Indian tribes or other units of local government in exchange for any other funds, credits or non-Federal consideration. The way I understand this is if you apply for the funds, they don’t want you to be outside trading with other communities which they have never allowed in the first place and no one has ever engaged in it.  It’s something coming from the Federal government down as a requirement to be in these agreements as part of the policy.

Dr. Parker asked, what do you recommend?

Ms. Calta replied, I have no problem with the amendment. It’s not something we have run into and something that from my point of view the Village should oppose.

Council President Buckholtz stated, maybe it’s something looking towards regionalism where they are seeing the possibility of certain communities doing more work or business together. 

Mr. Marrie stated, we never traded off anyway.

Ms. Calta stated, it could be communities that are getting more creative.  I don’t know of any instances where it was an issue in Cuyahoga County to be honest with you.

Dr. Parker asked, how long ago did we approve the original?

Ms. Calta replied, 1993 was the original agreement.

Dr. Parker asked, obviously this would be an opportunity to, if we did not agree with this, we would be backing out of this agreement, correct?  If we weren’t willing to approve this, we would have the option to not continuing this, correct or no?

Council President Buckholtz stated you are saying 51 communities are in this?

Ms. Calta replied, 51 communities are part of the Cooperative Cuyahoga Urban County program.  If we backed out of it, I think we would be backing out of our original agreement. We would be backing out of the 51.  I think there would be some ripple effect to the whole thing.  They are trying to have a united community.

Mr. Marquardt asked, what are we getting out of it?

Dr. Parker asked, what is the significance of this today versus 1993?

Ms. Calta replied, you have the ability to apply for funds through this program.

Dr. Parker asked, but it limits us in other ways, correct?

Ms. Calta replied, this amendment would prohibit you from transferring any of the funds you receive from another community in exchange for something.

Mr. Saponaro stated, which you couldn’t do anyways.

Mr. Marrie agreed.  We couldn’t do it before.

Mr. Saponaro stated, it’s a cleanup provision.

Ms. Calta stated, it’s really housekeeping. This was entered into so long ago. It makes sense to kind of look back and say, what is this, how do we use it, are we going to use it?  I don’t know the exact answer to the question about using it in the future but I think Ted can address some of those questions when he gets back.

Mr. Jerome asked, so the 51 has been what it has been since 1993?  There are communities that just don’t want a part of it.  We are one of the 51?

Ms. Calta replied, we are.

Dr. Parker asked, what neighboring communities are not in it?

Ms. Calta replied, I can certainly find out.  I don’t know the answer to that.

Council President Buckholtz asked, this can go on three reads?

Ms. Calta replied, the County asked for a quick response, not taking into consideration that some communities only meet once a month.

Mr. Marquardt stated, that makes me more suspicious than anything else.  What’s the big hurry?

Ms. Calta replied, it will be on Council’s agenda for the 21st, not for this evening’s Special Meeting.

ANY OTHER MATTER BEFORE COUNCIL

Council President Buckholtz asked, any other matters?    There were no other matters.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at approximately 8:36 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary E. Betsa, Clerk of Council