Council Meeting Minutes – April 9, 2015

A regular meeting of Washington City Council was held Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 7PM in Council Chambers, 55 West Maiden Street, Washington, Pennsylvania.  Mayor Brenda Davis, presiding, opened the meeting.

ROLL CALL:    Councilwoman Tracie Graham – Present

Councilman Kenneth Westcott – Present

Councilman Joseph Manning – Present

Councilman Terry Faust – Present

Mayor Brenda Davis – Present

 

SOLICITOR:     John F. Cambest, Esquire – Present

MOMENT OF SILENCE

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG

Mayor and Council held an Executive Session after the Agenda Meeting on Monday, April 6, 2015, to discuss personnel and litigation matters.

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and unanimously carried, to approve the minutes of the March 5, 2015 regular meeting of Washington City Council.

Mayor Davis then opened the public participation portion of the meeting.  Those signed in to speak were as follows:

  • Chief Linn Brookman gave 2 reports for the month of March. The Fire Department had 142 calls for service.  The Building Permit Department issued 9 permits.  Total fees collected for March was $1,703.  Year-to-date fees collected were $2,905.35 – out of this amount there was $975.00 receipt for a payment that should have been given to the City in 2014.

 

  • Ron McIntyre gave the Code Enforcement report for March. It was as follows: 161 calls for service, 63 violation notices mailed out, 7 citations issued, with total fees collected at $1,274.58

 

  • Chief Chris Luppino gave the Police Department report for March. There were 807 calls for service, 11,057 miles patrolled, 119 traffic citations issued, 45 non-traffic citations issued, and 57 criminal arrests.  Total fees collected for reports and permits was $1,115.

 

  • Georgianna Farkas stated that she is still not satisfied with the Solid Waste fee. $600 to $700,000.00 the last four years is ridiculous for collections.  This money belongs to the people who pay the garbage bills here in the City.  If the numbers are coming up like this then the people here in the City are being blind-sided.  $600 to $700,000.00 that the City has, and that was transferred last meeting.

 

Georgianna said that she had a brainstorm.  She feels that our playgrounds should grow for our children and our community.  There needs to be cameras for people’s safety in and around our playgrounds, but mainly for our children’s safety.  She has the idea of a paper retriever where it could be centrally located, out of any havoc areas, where people can come bring their papers.  The monies from the paper retriever can then be spent directly on the playgrounds.  Ideas for improvement would be applying turf so that our playgrounds can be more kid-friendly.  This would enhance the playgrounds.  Georgianna asked if Mayor and Council had any input on what is permitted so that she could proceed with her idea.

 

COMMENT:  Mayor Davis said that Georgianna would
have to speak with Councilman Faust who
handles the playgrounds and he could direct
her.

 

Councilwoman Graham said that lighting
would be an important concern for the
playgrounds.

 

Georgianna said that she has a list of different items that she has thought of and looked at such as lighting, cameras, tree trimming, the turf, receptacles, broken swings, and toddler items.  Canonsburg has the old Armory, which is now a center for children.  She said that she is happy that Tripil has moved in across from City Hall and that there is not another vacant spot.  She said that we need to start thinking about the kids.

 

COMMENT:  Councilwoman Graham added that
vandalism is a major concern.  So any
equipment that may be added becomes
destroyed.

 

Georgianna said that if there are cameras and our Police are doing their job along
with our Neighborhood Watch groups . . . we can all pull together and make this
work for our children.  If we don’t put in an effort we are losing our kids.  There
is too much gun fire on our streets.  Georgianna then addressed Councilman Faust
regarding the topic of a Skateboard Park and if any further thought has been given
to it.

 

COMMENT:  Councilman Faust said that there are a
number of things that are being looked into.
One of them is always that topic.
Councilman Faust said, “other than that, he
has no further comment.”

 

Mayor Davis said that she can give
Georgianna an update on the Time Study
that was conducted regarding the
administration time spent dealing with
garbage.  As of February 27th – thirteen
individuals that work here in the City were
given a Time Study.  This was
recommended by our Auditor, Lisa
Vipermann from Palermo and Kissinger.
This Time Study would show the accurate
amount of time spent on Solid Waste issues
that were directed to their attention.  This
was from March 1st through March 31st
one month’s time. So, thirteen individuals
were given that study.  At the conclusion of
the month only 3 employees returned their
study.  So, it makes it difficult to get an
accurate amount of time when there wasn’t
participation coming from those employees
who were given that time study.  The Code
Enforcement spent 82 hours, the City Clerk
spent 15 minutes, and a Park Employee
spent 11 hours-35 minutes and patrolled

64 miles pertaining to dealing with garbage.
So, we should find out tomorrow if we are
able to get the technical assistance grant
from DEP that would help us put together
our bid packet when our bids go out for the
end of the year.  We were hoping to include
the Time Study that we undertook,
unfortunately, with a lack of participation
we don’t have an accurate figure.

 

Georgianna asked if the employees were given a time that the Time Study had to
be turned in?

 

COMMENT:  Mayor Davis stated, “at the conclusion of the
month return it back to her office as of April
1, 2015.”

 

Georgianna asked Mayor Davis to confirm that only 3 were returned out of 13.

 

COMMENT:  Mayor Davis said, “that is correct.”

 

Georgianna asked, “why don’t you hold their pay checks?  Turn it into payroll
and stop their pay checks if they don’t want to do their jobs.”

 

COMMENT:  Mayor Davis responded by saying that
apparently they were not willing to go the
extra mile for the taxpayer.

 

Georgianna asked if she could get a copy of the Time Study findings.

 

COMMENT:  Mayor Davis said absolutely – that
everything is pretty much public knowledge.

 

Georgianna asked, as far as the paper retriever – before she loses her train of
thought, what are the steps to being able to do this?

 

COMMENT:  Mayor Davis said that she would have to
look into it . . . she is not sure of the whole
procedure or the process.  She asked if it
was recycling.

 

Georgianna said that it is recycling and that there is a waiting list.  As long as the
people of the community put in . . . then you get money back.  You have to put
your name in but she did not want to start that until it was approved by City and
Council.

 

COMMENT:  Mayor Davis said for Georgianna to gather
the information and present it to them next
month.  Possibly a decision could be made if
that is something that City Council would
want to look into.

 

Georgianna wanted to know of any areas where it could be placed.

 

COMMENT:  Mayor Davis said that she did not even know
what the company is called.

 

Georgianna said that the company is called Paper Retriever.  If you go behind IC
Church you can see them. Some companies have one, some have three.  But, you
can get money back.  As far as this Time Study goes . . . what is the next step to
follow through?

 

COMMENT:  Mayor Davis said it is unfortunate because
we need to have the participation from these
departments to get a true, accurate account
on exactly how much time is spent
administratively.  So, we will see what the
auditor says.

 

Georgianna asked is an outsider is allowed to come in and do their own Time
Study.

 

COMMENT:  Solicitor Jack Cambest said, “no.”

 

 

  • Louise McClenathan was the next speaker. She stated and gave the following:

 

Comments – City Council Meeting, City of Washington, PA, 7PM, April 9, 2015

By N. Louise McClenathan, 62 McClane Avenue, Washington, PA 15301

To Mayor Davis, Councilmen Manning, Faust, Westcott, Councilwoman Graham,

and City Solicitor, Jack Cambest

 

NOTE:  If my comments run over the five minutes allowed, I request that further comments be included in the Minutes of this meeting.

 

Ms. Galluze, at the last Council meeting I attended, said she didn’t write grants, she administered them.  I’d like an explanation of what “administering grants” means.  It was also noted that we have no grant writer at present.

Further, Treasurer Denny Adams, who is running for office again this year, should explain whether he will serve his one year in jail, and pay the City of Washington $5,000 for violating the Third Class City Code PS 36403 (see Exhibit A) whereby he paid Sonny Spossey, his brother-in-law’s private attorney, John Patrick Smider, the sum of $599.25 to represent the City of Washington on 1/13/2006 (see Exhibit B).  Mr. Adams was then Controller,  his brother-in-law, Sonny Spossey, was Treasurer.  Spossey had asked City Council to pay his private attorney at a prior Council Meeting.  His request failed by a 2-2 tie vote (see Exhibit C-1).

I had taken my case to court over the high solid waste fees that had been charged to several hundred citizens when Spossey, then Treasurer, had hired Portnoff to collect fees and fines.  I owed one payment, having received no third notice from then Treasurer, Michelle Westcott.  I was to pay $249.00 in fines and fee.  Jeffrey Watson was then City Solicitor.

Many fined were senior citizens — a clerk at Giant Eagle, one of these, was fined $800.  Again, a case of elder abuse, which is now rampant in our county.  Matt Staniszewski, then wet behind the ears, signed the illegal check.  (See Exhibit C-2).

When I arrived in Judge Pozonsky’s court with a witness who took notes, Spossey sat in the back of the room.  When I’d expected Jeff Watson to prosecute the case for the City, he was out of town.  Spossey’s private attorney, Pat Smider, illegally represented the City. Not surprising, Judge Paul Pozonsky altered my testimony.  When I said, “I do not know Mr. Smider,”  Pozonsky altered my words to say, “I do not know Mr. Spossey.”  I have known Mr. Spossey for 20 years, as shown by a letter sent to me by him, where he asked, “why didn’t you come to me with your complaint, as you have done before.”  (See Exhibit D).

I was asked to pay $35.00 in cash for a copy of the court transcript, as Pozonsky’s court reporter said she’d “been stiffed before,” by checks.  All of the Exhibits herein referenced have been sent to Judge Howsare, who will rule on Pozonsky’s case July 23rd.  It took a law student, Justin Papciak, then just several years out of law school to report that Pozonsky was taking envelopes of cocaine into his office, and substituting cocaine with baking soda.

I was advised by Corbett’s Pittsburgh office (he was then PA District Attorney) to take my papers to the FBI.  Pat Howley, at the FBI, held my documents for 3 weeks.  Hen then called me and said his supervisor advised that I sue the City of Washington for $241.  I replied, “the City of Washington was going bankrupt, so why should I sue the City?”

Incidentally, Sonny Spossey has just been appointed by our three count commissioners to be on the Appeals Board for property reassessment.  (See Exhibit E).  His salary is $12,000.00 a year, serving with two other appointees.  Only one has experience in real estate appraisal.  Will Spossey pay his $5,000 to the City of Washington and spend one year in jail as required by his violation of the law when he was City Treasurer?

If there is a statue of limitations, I would remind Spossey and Denny Adams, his brother-in-law, of a quotation by abolitionist Wendell Phillips – ‘HONOR KNOWS NO STATUE OF LIMITATIONS.”  I would also remind you that all three commissioners are up for re-election and are opposed by other candidates.  Remember this when you vote.

 

My next comments concern the Whiskey Rebellion “event” as reported by the Observer-Reporter on April 1, 2015.  It is reported to be a much bigger, “regional” event, with Councilman Joe Manning and Tripp Kline as co-chairmen.  While bringing money into city businesses is needed, the entire purpose of the Whiskey “Insurrection” is missed by the liquor bash and musical events planned.

The Observer article (See Exhibit F) did state “Washington County, whose acts protested the taxation of their whiskey caused George Washington to send a force of 13,000 militia troops to the area.” The so-called Rebellion was about unfair taxation.  I cite several sources at the end of these comments to prove my point.  Citizens in several states rebelled because (1) whiskey was the only cash crop for farmers in their area, (2) Farmers were to be taxed not only on whiskey produced, but by the still’s capacity, even in bad years.  (3) Most of the insurrectionists were landless bachelors, (4) John Neville, Washington’s tax collector, had voted down the tax in Pennsylvania’s legislature.  Yet, when offered the job at $600 per year, he accepted it.

David Bradford was coerced by angry mobs to head the Rebellion against his will.  Other moderates in the area, like Judge Henry Taylor, who was the first president judge of the county, tried to keep the lid on.  Taylor was my 4th great-grandfather.  His brother-in-law, John White II, built the John White House at the County Fairgrounds.

Most important, the Whiskey Rebellion clarified the First Amendment of the Constitution – the right to peaceably assemble and demonstrate against our government.  This is exactly what we are doing when we come here to Council to voice our complaints about the high solid waste fees charged us.  In the Whiskey Rebellion, taxes were taken in by Washington and Hamilton and given to wealthy bankers to uphold a strong federal government.  Here at City Council, we are asked to pay high solid waste fees to Waste Management so that salaries of certain favorite City workers may be raised, with our Grant Administrator’s salary to be raised by $20,000 a year totaling to $92,000.

 

Thank you for listening.

 

Sources RE: Whiskey Insurrection:

  • The Whiskey Rebellion and the Trans-Appalachian Frontier. Topic 45.  Journal of the Liberal Arts.  Washington & Jefferson College, 1994.
  • History of the Insurrection in the Four Western Counties of Pennsylvania. By William Findley, Congressman representing Fayette County, Pennsylvania.  Reprinted 1984 by Reprint Company, South Carolina.
  • The Whiskey Rebellion Frontier Epilogue to the American Revolution. Thomas P. Slaughter.  Oxford University Press.  Y. Oxford 1986.

 

 

  • Jim Cote, B & W Insurance Agency, thanked Mayor and Council for taking the time to meet with him this past Monday night to review the insurance for the City of Washington. Jim asked that consideration be give to Motion #16 on the Agenda listing B & W Insurance as the Agent of Record for the Worker’s Compensation Insurance.  They have enjoyed a long lasting relationship with the City during the last decade, and they want to continue it for years to come.  He thanked Mayor and Council for their consideration.

 

 

There being no further public participation, Mayor Davis closed this portion of the meeting.

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and unanimously carried, to approve the following FINAL READING:

 

FINAL READING OF ORDINANCE NO. 1867  BILL NO. 3  OF 2015:

 

AN ORDINANCE OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF WASHINGTON, WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 1774, CHAPTER 1, PART 3, OF THE 1986 CODE OF ORDINANCES; ELIMINATING CERTAIN CITY OFFICES REQUIRED TO BE BONDED; REQUIRING THE DIRECTOR OF ACCOUNTS AND FINANCE, CONTROLLER, CITY CLERK AND CITY TREASURER TO BE BONDED; REDUCING THE BOND OF THE CITY TREASURER FROM TWO MILLION DOLLARS TO ONE MILLION DOLLARS.

 

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve payment to Smith’s Suburban Supply Co. in the amount of $1,999.99 for Trailer Generator.  CHARGE 01.15/410-148  (Information Sharing Program)

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve payment to Metro Alert in the amount of $5,625.35 for Software – Alert Server.  CHARGE 01.15/410-248  (Information Sharing Program)

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve payment to North Central Highway Safety Network in the amount of $7,257.35 for Reimbursement #1 (2015).   CHARGE 90.00/489-000 (NCHS Grant Acct)

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve payment to North Central Highway Safety Network in the amount of $11,415.33 for Reimbursement #2 (2015).   CHARGE 90.00/489-000 (NCHS Grant Acct)

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve payment to Widmer Engineering in the amount of $175.00 for Salt Shed.  CHARGE 01.43/430-313 (Engineering Services)

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve payment to Widmer Engineering in the amount of $325.00 for Salt Shed.  CHARGE 01.43/430-313 (Engineering Services)

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve payment to Widmer Engineering in the amount of $990.00 for 2015 February Items.  CHARGE 01.43/430-313 (Engineering Services)

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve payment to Widmer Engineering in the amount of $1,270.00 for Dunn Avenue Sidewalk.  CHARGE 01.43/430-313 (Engineering Services)

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve payment to Widmer Engineering in the amount of $257.50 for PHASE III.  CHARGE 01.43/430-313 (Engineering Services)

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve payment to Pro-Am Safety, Inc. in the amount of $1,293.10 for (1) UF-Z1500 Smoke Machine & Fluids, Mobile Smoke Machine 6 Litre and (1) HD PRO 5 Smoke Machine & Fluids, High Density Fog Fluid, 5 Gallon.  Both are Unifire brands.  CHARGE 73.00/411-260 (Fire Department Capital Equipment Fund – Minor Equipment Purchase)

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve payment to West Penn Power in the amount of $1,862.44 to install pole and light at Recycle Drop-Off.  CHARGE 57.00/489-000 (Recycle Drop Off)

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve payment to Dodaro, Matta, and Cambest, P.C. in the amount of $4,548.21 for services rendered through 3/25/2015 and includes monthly retainer.

CHARGE 01.13/404-310 (Solicitor Professional Services)

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Faust, seconded by Councilman Manning, and unanimously carried, to approve payment to Citizens Library Association of Washington, PA in the amount of $25,000.00 for 2015 Appropriation.  CHARGE 01.54/456-520 (Citizens Library Contribution)

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve the following Budget transfer:

  1. a) $2,953.93  FROM  00/407-000 (LSA Account)  TO  01.00/357-502 (Police
    Info Sharing Local Match)

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and unanimously carried, to approve the following Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU):

 

MAYOR AND COUNCIL please approve this Memorandum Of Understanding:

Approve the following items from Motion #2 (March 5, 2015 Council Meeting):

  1. l) Crystal Sound Systems in the amount of $709.00
    CHARGE 60.00/489-000 (Downtown Revitalization Project Fund)
    m)         Alloy-Oxygen in the amount of  $2,325.00
    CHARGE 60.00/489-000 (Downtown Revitalization Project Fund)
    n)         Alloy-Oxygen in the amount of $1,062.00
    CHARGE 60.00/489-000 (Downtown Revitalization Project Fund)
    o)         John A. Whitehead in the amount of $724.18
    CHARGE 60.00/489-000 (Downtown Revitalization Project Fund)
  2. p) J & J Truck Equipment in the amount of $550.00
    CHARGE 60.00/489-000 (Downtown Revitalization Project Fund)

 

(L is the radio for the backhoe, M, N and O deal with the welder, and P deals with the repair of the material for the damaged truck.)

 

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilwoman Graham, and unanimously carried, to approve Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU):

 

MAYOR AND COUNCIL please approve this Memorandum Of Understanding:

Approve payment to Columbia Gas for the following:

 

  1. a)         $2,709.08 for past-due invoices
    b)         $1,000.00 for the estimated payment which will be due for
    May 2015 payment.

CHARGE:  28.00/447-359  (Transit Expenses – Utilities)

 

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and unanimously carried, to approve Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU):

We, the undersigned, do hereby authorize the purchase and payment of a 2016 Ford
F-250XL, 4 X 4 Pickup Truck through the COSTARS Program from Woltz and Wind Ford, Inc. at a cost not to exceed $37,635.00   CHARGE 77.00/430-700 (Capital Improvements Fund – Public Works)

COMMENT:  Councilman Westcott thanked Councilman
Faust for his assistance on this purchase of
the vehicle.

 

Councilman Faust said, “you are welcome.”

 

 

 

A motion was made by Councilwoman Graham, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve the following Residential LERTA Application:

Jamie Butler

50 Sumner Avenue

Parcel ID:  730-007-00-03-0004-00

 

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Faust, seconded by Councilman Manning, and unanimously carried, to approve the City of Washington to enter into an agreement with Washington School District for the use of Washington Park Facilities for the year of 2015.

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Faust, seconded by Councilman Manning, and unanimously carried, to approve the City of Washington to enter into an agreement with Washington Youth Baseball (WYB) for use of eight (8) Baseball Fields in Washington Park for the year of 2015 contingent upon payment for 2014 prior of signed agreement accompanying payment for 2015.

 

A motion was made by Councilman Faust, seconded by Councilman Manning, and unanimously carried, to approve the City of Washington to enter into an agreement with TWIST, INC. for the use of six (6) Softball Fields in Washington Park for the year of 2015.

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Faust, seconded by Councilman Manning, and unanimously carried, to approve filing fee of $100.00 for DCED 2015 Greenways, Trails and Recreation Grant.

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve to retain Millennium Administrators, Inc. as the plan administrators for the 2015 – 2016 health insurance plan year.

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve to continue the current Health/Dental/Rx/Life Insurance plans currently in place for the 2015 – 2016 health insurance plan year.  (Meritain-Health Insurance,
Metlife – Dental Insurance; The Standard – Life Insurance; and Vista Underwriters – Stop Loss Coverage).

 

 

A motion was made by Councilwoman Graham, seconded by Mayor Davis, and carried, to approve and authorize B & W Insurance Agency to be the agent on record for the City of Washington’s Worker’s Compensation Policy – effective April 30, 2015 to April 30, 2016.

 

COMMENT:  Councilman Westcott asked if there were
any other bids with the current carrier.

 

Councilman Manning said that they are
working on it now.  From the telephone
conversations it looks like a 2.5 increase
over last year.  When we had our meeting on
January 20th , and looked at possible
renewals, they looked at 25% increase.
Which he said he thought was crazy then.

 

Councilman Westcott asked when does this
go into effect?

 

Councilman Manning stated, “April 30th”.

 

Mayor Davis said that they were not here on
Monday night to move this forward.

 

Councilman Manning said that he was not
expecting anyone to be here on Monday
night.  He did not expect Jim to be here
Monday night.  It was not on the Agenda
when Christy sent it out.  Councilman
Manning said that he was not expecting
anybody to be here.  He said that he does not
have a dog in this fight.

 

Mayor Davis said that a decision has to be
made because there is not a Council Meeting
until May.

 

Councilman Manning said that he told Jim
last year that this was not about Jim and the
other guy.  Councilman Manning said that
he did not know the other guy from a bucket
of paint.  We went with the other guy
because it was a better deal all the way
around because of what was happening
with the Cancer Presumption Notice and
those type of issues and doing the Public
Employees Safety Policies which would get
us registered with the Department of Labor
and Industry that would allow us 5%
reduction.  All these things were in place
and that’s what sold us on it.

 

Mayor Davis said that you would have

thought that he would have been here
Monday night to make sure we moved on
this because we don’t have another meeting
until after the expiration of this.

 

Councilman Manning said that he did not
know anyone was going to be here to
discuss this.  He said that he thought that a
MOU could have been done or call a special
meeting.

 

Mayor Davis said, “we are talking about
$250,000.00 and she thinks that the public
should have some input on as well.”  Mayor
Davis said that this should be discussed
openly.

 

Councilman Manning stated, “we did not
have a public discussion last year.”

Mayor Davis said that the Agenda Meeting
would have been the perfect opportunity to
discuss that.

Councilman Manning said, “he does not
know how many different ways he can say
that he was not expecting Mr. Cote or any
other discussion of the Worker’s Comp on
Monday night.”

 

Mayor Davis asked Jim Cote to shed some
light on this.

 

COMMENT:   Jim Cote said that the whole issue at hand was (last year) there was no savings.  The other agent signed an Agent of Record Letter, which simply took his quote that they worked on the year before and the policy that they put in place and handed it over to them.  There was nothing that they did on their end to bring that insurance carrier to the forefront.  Jim said that it was his company that found them.  So it is not like they brought something different to the table.  All they did was take our work and present it to you – that is what an Agent of Record Letter does.  My whole point in meeting with Council is that there was no need to name another broker. They did not bring anything different to the table, not a different company, and it is not even a matter of pricing.  Jim said they have been the Agent for last 10 years.  If somebody is going to unseat them as the Agent then they should bring something different to the table – not just take the same work that we did and pawn it off as their own.  That is what an Agent of Record Letter does – it takes the work that they did and gives it to that other Agent.  There is nothing that’s been done since that would lend any more value, that we went over on this the other night, as far as the Safety Committee Meetings, as far as being to negotiate with the current carrier, there is nothing different than from what that Agent did.  A different issue is, prior to the Cancer Act, that is a whole different ballgame all together.  We took you from Swift back in 2005, to Selective Insurance the year after, to Harie the following 6 or 7 years – then when the Cancer Act came into play we found the AmeriHealth Casualty who you are with right now.

Jim said that his whole point when meeting on Monday night is that they never should have lost the account last year.  There was nothing that the other Agent brought to the table in the form of an insurance quote that would have been any different than what they could have done, absolutely no different what so ever.   He said he feels there is value to having an Agent that is 5 minutes away, live here, work here.  They have been the Agent since 2005 and they have done nothing to lose this account.  There is no reason to change; the other Agent didn’t do anything different.  Otherwise, they would have presented a different quote.  They didn’t present a different quote — they presented the same quote that would have been given to us . . .the company gives to them.  Jim said that is his whole point.  There is value in having one relationship with one agency handling the Worker’s Compensation and the package – unless there is a very good reason to change.  Everything is working . . . our staff gets along great with Christy and your staff.  We know all the department heads are Safety controlled, Dan Guarascio has been with you all for a decade . . . there is no reason to change any of that.

 

COMMENT:   Councilman Manning said that when Jim
stated that there is no difference, that the
other Agent is not bringing anything . . . the
first item on this Agenda was to go into this
bonding ordinance.  He said that he tried
for weeks, if not months on end, to get Jim’s
agency to give us a quote on this because
we decided to shop it out to different
ones.  When they finally got back to him
after hounding Jim’s agency —  I need
this, I need this, I need this – your agency
was well over double what we settled on
with the current carrier.  They came in at
like $1,500.00 while your agency was over
$3,500.

 

COMMENT:  Jim talked with Mayor Davis regarding this because he was out of town when this came due.  He said that he got his paths crossed with Christy upon the date that this was due.  In the last 10 years when it came to answering any of the phone calls of any of the Council people, from Christy or Kathy Voytek . . . he has not received any complaint in 10 years on anything.  You can ask Christy – has there been one time since you have worked here that you needed an answer that you have not gotten it?

 

COMMENT:  Christy replied, “no, your company has always been so prompt, thank you.”

 

COMMENT:   Councilman Manning said on this bonding
when they went back and looked through
the P & L Policy we discovered that you did
not have the employee crime coverage in it.
That’s what led us to do all of this in the
first place.

 

COMMENT:  Jim said that we have discussed this in passing.  When I have been here every year I have welcomed anyone who have wanted to discuss coverage options . . . I want to ask you, “what did we do to deserve losing the Worker’s Comp to an out of area agent who did absolutely nothing to warrant getting the account?”

 

COMMENT:  Councilman Manning said, “because when
we looked at the budget we could see that
Worker’s Compensation was going to go
through the roof based on the Cancer
Presumption Bill and we had to do some-
thing about it.  It was no different than what
we did with the health care coverage for
employees.  It was pro-active steps to
reduce it.

 

COMMENT:  Jim then said, “but you did not change companies.  You stayed with the same company.”

COMMENT:   Councilman Manning said, “they got us a
good rate.”  I can’t speak effectively about
because I don’t know.  What he said is that
our debt ratio in the State rating – you had
us in the highest bracket that could be.

 

COMMENT:  Jim said that he did not understand that comment.  Your experience modification stands on its own, they have nothing to do with that.

 

COMMENT:  Councilman Manning then said that the
other night you said that our experience
modification is Officer McIntyre and
and Fire Fighter LaBella which was not
in the 5 year record, it was prior to that.

 

COMMENT:  Jim said that he was bringing up those claims to show how they helped the City navigate through all the trials and tribulations over the last 10 years.  Those claims, obviously,  have nothing to do with your experience now.

 

COMMENT:  Councilman Manning asked if Mayor and
Council understood it to be what Jim said.

 

Mayor Davis stated, “yes she understood it
the way Jim just explained it.”

 

Councilman Manning said that he understood it to mean that is why were seeing an increase in the Worker’s Comp and that was not part of the 5-year previous.

 

COMMENT:  Jim said, “no that had nothing to do with that.”  He was talking about those 2 claims as a matter of history, where you guys started, what has happened since then, and how they helped navigate through it.  When the Cancer Presumption Act came into play and they were fortunate to find an insurance carrier that would write the City of Washington . . . there was a lot of hard bargaining and a lot of work on our part to find a company to write that. When everybody else was fleeing for the exit signs we found a company to write that insurance.  Rather than you having to go through Swift . . . that wasn’t the other Agent that brought that to the table, that was us.  So, I want to ask you, what did that Agent bring to the table that was different than what we could have done?

 

COMMENT:  Councilman Manning said that if we have to
have this done by the 30th, what is the rate?
What is going to be our renewal?

 

COMMENT:  Jim said that they are going to do the same thing as last year . . . they are going to go to the Company.

 

COMMENT:  Councilman Manning said you don’t know
the renewal.

 

COMMENT:  Jim said, “we can’t get that, we are not the Agent of Record.  That is why we are having this meeting to name us as the Agent of Record so that we can go right back to where we were and continue the process of working with them.”

 

COMMENT:  Councilman Manning then said if we name
you the Broker of Record and your quote
comes in $100,000.00 higher – what do we
do then?

 

COMMENT:  Jim said, “Joe, it will be – may I address you as Joe, the price is not going to be any different from us to the other Agent.  The price is the same, whether you go with us or the other Agent.  It was like that last year too, and the year before.  The insurance company is going to give the same price to that Agent.  The only time the price will be different is when they bring a different company into the mix and they offer an insurance quote with a different company.”

Jim said that his whole point was they are the ones who found the company; we are the ones who should be able to continue to use that company.

 

COMMENT:  Councilman Manning said, “Jim, like I told
you last year – I don’t have a dog in this
fight.”  His concern is dollars and cents –
that is all he was looking at.  When he saw
the increase they tried to be pro-active and
shop it out.  As far as your Agency, as I said
I gave you an example of how much higher
you guys were going to be on the bonding.
When we had the flood a couple of years
ago I did not see you guys advocating with
Selective to cover the damages for us.
Councilman Faust can speak better than I
can because he dealt with the damages.
Those are some of the things that lead us to
where we are now.

 

COMMENT:  Jim said, “so the Worker’s Compensation, the issue that we are dealing with now,  what I am trying to understand is, they didn’t give you a lower price – they gave you the same price that we would give you.  That is what I want everyone to understand – it is the same price, the same price.”

 

COMMENT:  Councilman Manning said, “from his
recollection, from the initial meetings that                                                                                                                         they had, we ended up saving the City
$20,000.00 on our Worker’s Comp where
we would have been if we would have just
left everything status quo.

 

COMMENT:  Jim said, “not true.”

 

Mayor Davis said, “it was like $239,000.00”

 

Councilman Manning said that he did not
have proper documentation with him.

 

COMMENT:  Jim then said that it would have been the same renewal price as it was from that company.

Mayor Davis said, “there really was not an
increase – it was the same as it was the
year before.”

 

COMMENT:  Jim said they get the same pricing.  The way he explained it the other night . . . AmeriHealth Casualty was the only company and they are the ones who found them.

 

Mayor Davis said that she appreciates Jim
coming Monday night because obviously
this expires on April 30th.  There was no one
else who came in on Monday night to say
your coverage is lapsing at the end of the
month and we need to move on on this.
Mayor Davis said that she wants for the
record to say that she never spoke with you,
she never told you to come here.  You came
on your own knowing this is up for renewal
because you had the account for 10 years.
So, Joe if you were insinuating that I
contacted Jim to tell him to come – I did
not.

 

Councilman Manning said that he was not
insinuating anything.

 

COMMENT:  Jim said that the reason he is so passionate about this is that there absolutely was no reason for them to lose the account last year, absolutely no reason.  He said that was so blind-sided by it . . . it was troubling, he did not understand it.  That is why Jim said he came Monday night to express that you all that you can have everything that you have now, the same as what we had last year, by naming us as your Agent.  There was no reason to bring in a Broker from out of town, from out of the area, to do the same thing that we were already doing.  The price is going to be the same . . . it is who you want to deal with.

 

COMMENT:  Councilman Manning said that some things
have to be different because with this
bonding and for like crime coverage.

 

COMMENT:   Jim said that’s a whole different situation.  We are talking about an existing policy that is in force. That is a whole different ball game.  If you would purchase a new building and 5 different insurance companies quote on that . . . you will get 5 different prices.  We are talking about an existing policy that is in force.

 

COMMENT:  Mayor Davis asked if there were any
other comments.

 

ROLL CALL:    Councilwoman Tracie Graham – Yes

Councilman Kenneth Westcott – Yes

Councilman Joseph Manning – No

Councilman Terry Faust – No

Mayor Brenda Davis – Yes

 

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and unanimously carried, to approve the Transit payment to MV Transportation, Inc. in the amount of  $51,004.73 for contracted public transit fixed route services performed in March 2015, to be paid from the Mass Transit Account upon verification by the Finance Department that the stated
transit funds are available.   CHARGE 28.00/447-455

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and unanimously carried, to approve the Transit payment to Washington County Transportation Authority in the amount of $11,875.49 for contracted public ADA paratransit services performed in February 2015, to be paid from the Mass Transit Account upon verification by the Finance
Department that the stated transit funds are available.   CHARGE 28.00/447-455
 

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and unanimously carried, to approve the Transit payment to Coen Oil Company in the amount of $8,374.62 for the purchase of fuel for the public transit vehicles, to be paid from the Mass Transit Account upon verification by the Finance Department that the stated transit funds are available.  CHARGE 28.00/447-231

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and unanimously carried, to approve the Transit payment to Joseph Thomas in the amount of $117.08 to replenish Transit Office petty cash, to be paid from the Mass Transit Account upon verification by the Finance Department that the stated transit funds are available.
CHARGE 28.00/447-240

 

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and unanimously carried, to approve the Transit payment to WEWJA in the amount of $11.30 for sewage usage at the ITF in December 2014, to be paid from the Mass Transit Account upon verification by the Finance Department that the stated transit funds are available.
CHARGE 28.00/447-359
 

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and unanimously carried, to approve the Transit payment to PA American Water in the amount of $356.63 for water usage at the ITF, to be paid from the Mass Transit Account upon verification by the Finance Department that the stated transit funds are available.   CHARGE 28.00/447-359
 

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and unanimously carried, to approve the Transit payment to West Penn Power Company in an amount not to exceed $500.00 for electric usage at the ITF, to be paid from the Mass Transit Account upon verification by the Finance Department that the stated transit funds are available.
CHARGE 28.00/447-359

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and unanimously carried, to approve the Transit payment to Columbia Gas of PA in an amount not
to exceed $900.00 for gas usage at the ITF, to be paid from the Mass Transit Account upon verification by the Finance Department that the stated transit funds are available.
CHARGE 28.00/447-359
 

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and unanimously carried, to approve the Transit payment to Comcast in the amount of $103.63 for internet service for transit’s farebox networking, to be paid from the Mass Transit Account upon verification by the Finance Department that the stated transit funds are available.
CHARGE 28.00/447-359
 

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and unanimously carried, to approve the Transit payment to Verizon in the amount of $419.96 for monthly service charges for service at the ITF, to be paid from the Mass Transit Account upon verification by the Finance Department that the stated transit funds are available.
CHARGE 28.00/447-359

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and

unanimously carried, to approve the Transit payment to Controlled Climate Systems in the
amount of $3,885.00 (ECS Grant) for contracted services performed regarding construction of
the ITF through March 2015, to be paid from the Purchase of Buses & Equipment Account upon
verification by the Finance Department that the stated transit funds are available.
CHARGE 27.00/447-743

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and carried,
to approve the following Transit item:

  1. a) Change Orders totaling $19,277.00 in regards to the electrical contract 2012-13-
    2ECS-E related to construction of the Intermodal Transit Facility:
    O. EC-008:  Connect Doors to Fire Alarm in the amount of $10,677.00
    C.O. EC-009:  Tie-In Transformer in the amount of $8,600.00

 

ROLL CALL:    Councilwoman Tracie Graham – Yes

Councilman Kenneth Westcott – Yes

Councilman Joseph Manning – Yes

Councilman Terry Faust – No

Mayor Brenda Davis – Yes

 

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and
unanimously carried, to approve the purchase of the complete ACCUBRINE Automated Brine
Maker System in the amount of $70,500.00   CHARGE 77.00/430-700 (Capital
Improvement Fund)

 

COMMENT:  Councilman Ken Westcott said this is for the
Street Department.  PennDot has a brine
system and the City is now going to go to a
brine system to pre-treat the roads before the
weather.  This will give us an advantage to
clearing the roads this winter.

 

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Faust, seconded by Councilman Manning, and unanimously
carried, to enter into an agreement with Skelly & Loy for the Catfish Creek Stormwater
Management Project Update Concept Plan for the Remaining Portion of Site 4 Municipal
Maintenance Facility in the amount of $19,700.00  CHARGE 66.00/446-310 (Catfish Creek)

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Faust, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously
carried, to approve Letter of Support and Commitment to the Washington County Tourism
Promotion Agency for 2015 Grant Application submitted by Bradford House Historical
Association.  City of Washington is pledging the following amounts:

  • $2,500.00 Cash Donation CHARGE 96.00/489-000 (Marcellus Shale Impact

Fee Fund)

  • $5,000.00 In-Kind Services

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilwoman Graham, and unanimously carried, to approve City of Washington’s Clean-Up Day — date and time for 2015:
Saturday, May 9, 2015 from 9AM to 3PM.

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilwoman Graham, and unanimously carried, to approve Dustin Danley, Fire Fighter, to be placed on Heart and Lung
effective – retroactive to 4/6/2015, due to work-related injury.

 

 

 

ELECTED OFFICIALS:

Councilwoman Tracie Graham – No Comment

 

 

Councilman Kenneth Westcott said that the Street Department is trying to get the roads done as quickly as they can. The batch plants opened last week so they will be going from the cold patch, which does not hold up as well, to the actual patch in the streets.  The residents will all notice a big difference coming up regarding our streets to get the potholes taken care of in the City of Washington.  Councilman Westcott asked for everyone to please be patient.

 

 

Councilman Joseph Manning gave the 1st Quarter Report for the Department of Accounts and Finance:  all revenue collected from January through March in the amount of $2,885,547.57 and total expenditures for that same period was $2,091,125.58 with total general fund account balance at $1,505,306.57.  All departments reporting relatively close to being on budget for the 1st Quarter of 2015.  Notable exceptions are as follows:  Engineering Services over budget by $6,180.00, Electrical Department Vehicle Maintenance over budget by $4,945.00, Fire Alarm Maintenance over budget by $3,500.  The City experienced three retirements with only one of those employees being replaced so far.  Notable items to monitor in the coming months are:  Legal Services which has expended 43% of the budgeted amount in only four months, and overtime in the Fire Department which is expected to experience a major shortfall due to one member retiring.  We have received our Liquid Fuels allocation of $335,812.23 — that is an increase of $33,500.00 over 2014.

 

Councilman Manning brought another item to everyone’s attention, which is of very good new.  The cabinet containing the automatic external defibrillator is empty.  An employee of the Washington Hospital noticed this empty cabinet.  He looked around and noticed that we did not really have the money budgeted to replace this piece of equipment.  Councilman Manning said that he contacted Washington Hospital and asked them for a donation to replace this AED.  Councilman Manning turned over a check today to the City Clerk in the amount of $2,500.00 to be deposited in the donation line item for the purchase of this AED.  He wanted it noted that Washington Hospital has proven time and again to be a very good neighbor and partner of this City.  In addition to the $2,500.00 that they have donated for this AED, they donated $10,000.00 to the permanent Farmer’s Market pavilion on Main Street as well their commitment to their payment in lieu of taxes program. Councilman Manning commends everyone at Washington Hospital for their commitment to the City.

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Faust, and
unanimously carried, to appoint CT Consultants for Grant Writers for the City.

 

COMMENT:  Mayor Davis asked if there was any public
comment on this motion.

 

 

Councilman Terry Faust – No Comment

Mayor Brenda Davis reminded everyone that on Saturday, April 11th the Highland Ridge Film Festival is having their yearly event – from 1PM to 7PM in the HUB at Washington & Jefferson College.  This is a new location for them this year as well as the expansion of their hours.  The Highland Ridge has worked real hard; this is their biggest fund-raising event that they hold all year.  Mayor Davis encouraged everyone to attend.

The next regular meeting of Washington City Council will be held on Thursday, May 7, 2015 at
7PM in Council Chambers.  The Agenda Meeting will be held on Monday, May 4, 2015 at 6PM,
also in Council Chambers.

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and unanimously carried, to adjourn the meeting.

_______________________________________

Brenda Davis, MAYOR

_____________________________________

Christy S. Thomas, CITY CLERK