Council Meeting Minutes – May 7, 2015

A regular meeting of Washington City Council was held Thursday, May 7, 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

Mayor Davis stated, “in observe of the National Day of Prayer (the event that is occurring
now at the Courthouse) she asked all to pause for a MOMENT OF SILENCE.”

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG

Mayor and Council held an Executive Session after the Agenda Meeting on Monday, May 4, 2015, to discuss personnel matters.

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and unanimously carried, to approve the minutes of the April 9, 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:

  • Ron McIntyre gave the Code Enforcement report for the month of April. There were 133 calls for service, 55 violations were mailed out, and 6 citations were issued with a total for the month for monies collected was $4,948.66.
  • Chief Linn Brookman gave 2 reports for the month of April. The Building Department’s report was as follows:  there were 17 permits were issued. Total fees collected were $4,496.78.  Total year-to-date permits issued were 44 with year-to-date fees collected at $6,199.79.  The project at W & J College is getting ready to swing into action for the new gymnasium. The building permits should be coming in.  All the blueprints are done.  This will be quite a sum of money.

The Fire Department had 156 total calls.  Still the drug problem is very bad here in the City of Washington.  Out of the 156 calls – 41 of these were medical calls, 33% of these being drug related.  There were 4 drug deaths that could not be brought back by the Narcan, and 2 of those were dead on arrival when the Fire Department came.

  • Chief Chris Luppino gave the April report for the Police Department. There were 800 calls for service, 8,400 miles patrolled, 127 traffic citations issued, 44 non-traffic, and 59 criminal arrests.  Total monies collected for reports, fingerprinting and vehicle release forms was $1,000.00
  • Chris Gizzoni spoke about the vacant lot that is located next to his own property. He is very disappointed that there is a lack to enforce our City codes.  For three years he has fought to have this vacant lot maintained.  Chris said that he spoke to Mr. McIntyre today and said that he was not very helpful.  McIntyre told Chris that he was aware of this problem and has sent a letter to the landowner that if he hasn’t cut the grass by May 17th he will be cited.  How many of you have not had your grass cut once this year?  Mr. McIntyre has been aware of this problem for years and he said to me, “I can’t do anything until I get a complaint.”  Chris said that this is nonsense.  As a repeat offender, why can’t Mr. McIntyre go around and check on previous cited property – why can’t he drive around and check?  It is inept on his part. Why do taxpayers have to constantly lodge a complaint for Mr. McIntyre to do his job?  Chris said that he has lived in the City all of his life.  My only recourse is if no action is done for me to go to court to have you enforce your own ordinance.  I hope that the City will be more pro-active instead of re-active in their responses.
  • Attorney Chuck Kurowski said that he has some issues of public concern that need to be addressed. He asked, “Mayor, do you think that during your administration it has been one of transparency and truthfulness?  #1. Did the department that you oversee and control have a dog trainer who was not properly vetted and qualified?  During your administration you collected over $4,000.00 from local businesses for a K9 Fund that you established.  Where is the money now?  During your administration did drug evidence turn up missing to train the dog?  You talk about blight control . . . I can sympathize with the guy that just left.  During your 4-year administration I have complained to Mr. McIntyre 4 years in a row about 2 houses:  38 East Prospect and 27 West Walnut Street that have open doors, broken windows, occupied by vagrants when it’s cold, had trees growing into the electric lines, and have never, never in 4 years had the grass cut.  Nothing has been done for 4 years under your administration.  During your administration is it true that City attorney fees have tripled during your administration because of the negligent actions and improperly trained and unsupervised employees?  When you ran against Mayor Spossey you convinced the public that you run your own company.  Do you call selling vape cigarettes for a minimal profit a company?  Do you call refinancing a City debt — savings when all it does kick the interest in the loan payment down the road to be placed on the backs of children and seniors.  Do you call spending thousands of dollars on fighting Mike Kopko’s extended stay facility and the convent building on  Franklin Street saving the City money?  It’s impossible to build a better Washington if you don’t do something about the problems you refused to deal with in the past 4 years.  I have an open records request that I am going to give to Christy Paul and ask her to address all of these issues so that we know what the truth is.  Thank you for your time.

COMMENT:  Mayor Davis said, “thank you Mr. Kurowski.  It is always a pleasure hearing from you.”

Attorney Kurowski replied, “it is always a pleasure dealing with you too.”

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

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilwoman Graham, and unanimously carried, to approve the Tax Appeal Settlement in regard to Case No. 2014-6881
concerning Parcel 730-004-00-01-0012-00 owned by the Washington Arbors Association
for tax year 2015 for a total fair market value of $3,225,000 and a total assessed value of
$351,524 with the land assessed at $26,638 and the building assessed at $324,886.

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve corrected Parcel ID Number of:  730-007-00-03-0001-00 for
previously approved Residential LERTA Application:
Jamie Butler

50 Sumner Avenue

 

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and
unanimously carried, to approve and authorize the exoneration of the City’s 2014 and 2015
taxes attached to 240 Donnan Avenue which amount to $1,241.28

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve the payment to Widmer Engineering in the amount of $1,395.00 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 the payment to Widmer Engineering in the amount of $2,145.00 for Dunn Avenue.  CHARGE  01.43/430-313 (Engineering Services)

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve the payment to Widmer Engineering in the amount of $2,790.00 for March Items. CHARGE  01.43/430-313 (Engineering Services)
 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve the payment to Widmer Engineering in the amount of $480.00 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 the payment to Traffic Control Equipment & Supplies Co., Inc. in the amount of $2,241.25 for materials and replacement of 3-way signal that was hit and
damaged.  CHARGE 03.00/433-378 (Liquid Fuels Fund – Traffic Signal Maintenance.  (This amount will be reimbursed to City.)
 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve the payment to Traffic Control Equipment & Supplies Co., Inc. in the amount of $175.50 for Main and Walnut Streets to correct cycling.
CHARGE 03.00/433-378 (Liquid Fuels Fund – Traffic Signal Maintenance)
 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve the payment to Skelly & Loy in the amount of $15,792.62 for Engineering (December 7, 2014 – March 14, 2015).  CHARGE 66.00/446-310 (Catfish Creek)
 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve the payment to Dodaro, Matta, and Cambest, P.C. in the
amount of $3,243.75 for services rendered through 4/27/2015 and includes monthly retainer.
CHARGE 01.13/404-310 (Solicitor Professional Services)

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve the payment to North Central Highway Safety Network in the amount of $14,633.30 for Reimb #3 (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 the payment to North Central Highway Safety Network in the amount of $8,880.55 for Reimb #4 (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 the payment to First Security in the amount of $12,962.18 for 2nd Payment Guaranteed Energy Savings.  CHARGE 01.52/409-368 (Public Buildings Other
Services – Reallocation of Maint/Link)

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve the payment to AKF Court Reporting & Trial Technologies in the amount of $338.40 RE:  Jerry Ray Case.  CHARGE 01.60/486-350 (Misc. Expenditures – Insur. Liability, Etc.)
 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve the refund to Barrister’s Land Abstract Company in the
amount of $225.00 for Dye Test that was paid for twice for property at 670 Summerlea Avenue.
CHARGE 01.00/361-652  (Dye Test Fees)

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilwoman Graham, and unanimously carried, to approve the Budget transfer of $2,475.00  FROM  01.00/387-831 (Contributions and Donations)  TO  01.33/411-267 (Emergency Med Services)

 

COMMENT:  Councilman Manning said that this transfer
was for the Automatic External Defibrillator (AED)

that was donated by the Washington Health Systems.  He
said that he wanted to recognize them for their contribution
to the City and for their generosity.

 

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilwoman Graham, and unanimously carried, to approve the Budget transfer of $3,948.15  FROM  85.00/100-000
(LSA Funds)  TO  66.00/100-000 (Catfish Creek Project Funds)
 

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Mayor Davis, and unanimously carried, to approve City of Washington to continue sponsorship of the Highway Safety Grant for FY 2015/2016.  This is a pass through grant through the PA Department of Transportation for Traffic Safety Education in the 4 counties of PennDOT District #12 (Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland).  Grant application is due to PennDOT by May 31, 2015.

 

 

A motion was made by Councilwoman Graham, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and
carried, to approve and authorize AmeriHealth to provide the City of Washington with
Workers Compensation coverage in the amount of $254,949.00 which includes the down
payment of $76,733.88 with monthly payments commencing May 2015 through January
2016.  Policy effective dates:  4/30/2015 – 4/30/2016.  Policy Number:  090000010212115
CHARGE 01.60/484-195 (Miscellaneous Workers Compensation)

 

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 Manning, seconded by Councilwoman Graham, and unanimously carried, to approve Citizens Library Invoice No. 1140001C10R (to be paid for by the Citizens Library) in the amount of $53,414.84 for HVAC Project.

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve payment to Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP in the amount of $658.00 for fees and expenses regarding Claim #117129, File #WW-
106255 through 4/7/2015.  CHARGE 01.60/486-350 (Misc. Expenditures – Insurance
Liability, Etc.)

 

A motion was made by Mayor Davis, seconded by Councilman Manning, and unanimously carried, to approve and authorize purchase and payment to Corson Custom Graphics in the amount of $18,000.00 for new flat street name signs.  CHARGE 77.00/433-700
(Electrical Capital Improvements Fund – Street Signage Project)

 

A motion was made by Mayor Davis, seconded by Councilman Manning, and unanimously carried, to approve Agreement with the City of Washington, the Washington County Transportation Authority and the County of Washington.

 

COMMENT:   Councilman Faust said that back in 2008 –
2009 we had a meeting with all three – the County, the City
and the Mon.  We had this meeting at the City’s hotel.
Sheila Gombita was there and she had tried to put this
package together back then.  This has been an on-going
challenge.  I want to congratulate her, thank the
Commissioners, Joe, Nancy, and the Council that
represented us at their meeting.  This is going to be great; it
is going to be good.  It is good for everyone.

Councilman Manning echoed what
Councilman Faust stated.  This is a great day for the City
of Washington and Washington County.

Mayor Davis thanked Joe Thomas for his
hard work.  When he came on he really jumped in and
moved forward to make sure we were keeping to the
schedule for this consolidation to occur.  The last couple
years it resurfaced again with the SPC coming through with
providing the grant to allow this consolidation to come
through.  Mayor Davis said that she knows that this has
been tried in the past, but unsuccessfully.  She said that she
is thankful that they were all here today to vote on this. We
have worked really hard to get the Washington City Transit
to where it is today.  It is a very small staff and she
extended a thank you to Nancy and Robin for all of their
hard work.

 

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and
unanimously carried, to approve payment to PNC Bank in the amount of $419,550.91 for ACT 205 Distressed Pension Collections through 4/30/2015.  CHARGE 79.00/483-000 (Pension Contributions)

 

A motion was made by Councilman Faust, seconded by Councilman Manning, and
unanimously carried, to approve and authorize a contribution to the World Series Tournaments,
Inc. in the amount of $2,000.00 to underwrite a portion of the Pony World Series event.
CHARGE 01.55/459-541 (Civic & Military Celebrations)

 

A motion was made by Councilman Faust, seconded by Councilman Manning, and
unanimously carried, to approve and authorize a contribution to Washington Area Fireworks Committee in the amount of $3,500.00 for 2015 Washington Fireworks display
CHARGE 01.55/459-541 (Civic & Military Celebrations)
A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and unanimously carried, to approve and authorize a contribution to the Bradford House Historical
Association in the amount of $1,000.00 to underwrite a portion of the Whiskey Rebellion
Festival.  CHARGE 01.55/459-541 (Civic & Military Celebrations)

 

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilwoman Graham, and
unanimously carried, to approve the hiring of Andrae C. Taylor as City of Washington Public
Works Laborer at a starting hourly rate of $19.77, and amend the Salary Ordinance
accordingly.  Effective hire date is May 18, 2015.  Probationary period is 90 days.

 

COMMENT:  Councilman Westcott said that Andrae will
take the place of Marty Russell who was with the City for
38 years.  We are going to miss Marty.  We are looking
forward to our replacement.  Our staff is back to full-staff.

 

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and
unanimously carried, to approve to remove Randy Thomas, City of Washington Public Works Laborer, from probation employment to full-time status effective retroactive to May
8, 2015, and amend the Salary Ordinance accordingly.

 

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and
unanimously carried, to approve Firefighter Dustin Danley from Heart & Lung Disability Benefits and return him to full duty status effective retroactive to April 12, 2015.

 

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and
unanimously carried, to approve for the City of Washington to enter into an agreement with the
Washington County Joint Municipal Purchasing for Public Works Department materials.
Municipal Purchasing Contract #031815-1JMPP.

 

A motion was made by Councilman Faust, seconded by Councilman Manning, and
unanimously carried, to authorize and approve McKean Plumbing & Heating to repair plumbing for sections of the Washington Park Pool.  Payment not to exceed $12,000.00
CHARGE 85.00/100-000 (LSA Funds)

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilman Faust, and
carried, to table the motion to approve and authorize to waive $6,000.00 from the lease rental amount of $12,000.00 for 2015 Washington Youth Baseball, Inc.’s (WYB) Agreement with the City of Washington for lease of the eight (8) baseball fields.

ROLL CALL:    Councilwoman Tracie Graham – Yes

Councilman Kenneth Westcott – Yes

Councilman Joseph Manning – Yes

Councilman Terry Faust – Yes
Mayor Brenda Davis – No

 

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and
unanimously carried, to approve to advertise Ordinance 1868 Bill No. 4 (Storm Water
Ordinance).

 

A motion was made by Councilwoman Graham, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and
unanimously carried, to approve Resolution No. 6 of 2015:

BE IT RESOLVED, THAT THE CITY OF WASHINGTON OF WASHINGTON COUNTY HEREBY REQUESTS A GREENWAYS, TRAILS, AND RECREATION PROGRAM (GTRP) GRANT OF $250,000.00 FROM THE COMMONWEALTH FINANCING AUTHORITY TO BE USED FOR WASHINGTON PARK REHABILITATION PROJECT.

 

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and
unanimously carried, to approve the Transit Budget transfer of $65,781.21  FROM  28.00/492-900 (Mass Transit Operating Assistance Fund)  TO  27.00/392-900 (Purchase of Buses and Equipment Grant Fund).  (This represents funds remaining after Settlement Agreement with GG&C for fixed assets – funds are an offset against credit owed to FTA for transfer of those fixed assets).
A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and
unanimously carried, to approve the Transit Budget transfer of $58,000  FROM  28.00/492-900  (Mass Transit Operating Assistance Fund)  TO  27.00/392-900 (Purchase of Buses and Equipment Grant Fund).  (This amount is the full amount of a State Capital grant for transit center construction which PennDOT wired into the Mass Transit Operating Fund April
8, 2015 – amount needs to be transferred to Buses and Equipment Fund from
which transit center construction payments are made).

 

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and
unanimously carried, to approve the Transit Budget transfer of a sum not to exceed $148,822.00  FROM  85/447-000 (LSA Fund – Transit System City Match)  TO  28.00/389-830 (Mass Transit Operating Assistance Fund – Local funding for operating assistance – City of Washington).
This transfer is to be made no later than June 30, 2015.  (This represents the City’s Transit Local Match for the 2014 – 2015 transit fiscal year).

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilwoman Graham, and
unanimously carried, to authorize the sale for scrap of a used 1978 Tennant Street Sweeper.
(No bids were received from advertisement for sale).

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilwoman Graham, and
unanimously carried, to approve Transit payment to MV Transportation, Inc. in the amount of $52,208.15 for contracted public transit fixed route services performed in April 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 Manning, seconded by Councilwoman Graham, and
unanimously carried, to approve Transit payment to Washington County Transportation Authority in the amount of $12,105.30 for contracted public ADA paratransit 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 Manning, seconded by Councilwoman Graham, and
unanimously carried, to approve Transit payment to Coen Oil Company in the amount of $9,474.25 for the purchase of fuel for the public transit vehicles in April 2015, to be paid from the Mass Transit Account upon verification by the Finance Department that the stated transit funds are available.  CHARGE 28.00/447-231

 
A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilwoman Graham, and
unanimously carried, to approve Transit payment to WEWJA in the amount of $11.30 for sewage usage at the ITF in April 2015, to be paid from the Mass Transit Account upon verification by the Finance Department that the stated transit funds are available.
CHARGE 28.00/447-359

 

 

A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilwoman Graham, and
unanimously carried, to approve Transit payment to PA American Water in the amount of $373.82 for water usage including Late Fees, in April at the ITF in April 2015, to be paid from the Mass Transit Account upon verification by the Finance Department that the stated transit funds are available.  CHARGE 28.00/447-359

 
A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilwoman Graham, and
unanimously carried, to approve Transit payment to West Penn Power Company in the amount of $2,219.03 for electric usage including Late Fees in April 2015 at the ITF, (1,219.03 past due & 1,000.00 current fees) 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 Manning, seconded by Councilwoman Graham, and
unanimously carried, to approve Transit payment to Comcast in the amount of $114.47 for internet service in Aril 2015, including Late Fees 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 Manning, seconded by Councilwoman Graham, and
unanimously carried, to approve Transit payment to Verizon in the amount of $414.16 for service charges for April 2015 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 Manning, seconded by Councilwoman Graham, and
unanimously carried, to approve Transit payment to WJPA Radio in the amount of $500.00 for advertising during the Baseball/Softball Home Stretch Package in April 2015, to be paid from the Mass Transit Account upon verification by the Finance Department that the stated transit funds are available.  CHARGE 28.00/447-310

 
A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilwoman Graham, and
unanimously carried, to approve Transit payment to Bankcard Services in the amount of $1,001.20 for fuel/hotel PPTA, Go Daddy, Lombardi’s and interest for April 2015, to be paid from the Mass Transit Account upon verification by the Finance Department that the stated transit funds are available.  CHARGE 28.00/447-240

 
A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilwoman Graham, and
unanimously carried, to approve Transit payment to Fleeher Contracting, LLC #1 in the amount of $36,773.55 for contracted services performed on PHASE II of the ITF through April 2015, to be paid from the funds generated from the REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY.

 
A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilwoman Graham, and
unanimously carried, to approve Transit payment to Controlled Climate Systems, Inc. #1 in the amount of $25,200.00 for contracted services performed on PHASE II of the ITF through April 2015, to be paid from the funds generated from the REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY.

 
A motion was made by Councilman Manning, seconded by Councilwoman Graham, and
unanimously carried, to approve Transit payment to Allegheny City Electric, Inc. #13 (FINAL PAYMENT AGAINST PHASE I-less retainer $500.00) – (includes CO #3 thru #9 – with #4 being a credit) in the amount of $39,468.00 for Electrical contracted services for ITF performed through April 2015, to be paid from the 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 Manning, seconded by Councilwoman Graham, and
unanimously carried, to approve Transit payment to Wheels Mechanical CS, Inc. #9 (FINAL PAYMENT AGAINST PHASE I-including retainer) – (includes CO #1 in the amount of $10,800.00 for Electrical contracted services for ITF performed through April 2015, to be paid from the Buses & Equipment Account upon verification by the Finance Department that the stated transit funds are available.  CHARGE 27.00/447-743

 
ELECTED OFFICIALS:
Councilwoman Tracie Graham thanked Joe Thomas, Robin Gostic and Nancy Basile.  She also mentioned the Wine Tasting Event that will be in June at the Citizens Library.  This is event listed on the library’s website.  There are also events on their website for both adults and children.

 

Councilman Kenneth Westcott asked for an Executive Session to discuss litigation.

 

Mayor Davis stated that there will be a short recess.

Mayor Davis resumed the Council Meeting.

 

Councilman Westcott reminded everyone of the City of Washington’s Clean-Up Day this Saturday, May 9th from 9AM to 3PM.  The Highland Ridge is starting around 10AM.  He said that he is sure that the West End Crime Watch is also participating.  He asked that everyone come out and give a hand.

 

Councilman Joseph Manning had no comment.

 

Councilman Terry Faust made a motion, seconded by Councilman Manning to accept CT Consultants contract to be our Grant Writer.

COMMENT:  Mayor Davis said that this agreement is for an engineer and a grant writer.  We currently have an appointed engineer, Widmer Engineering.  We appoint an engineer at the beginning of every year.  It is funny that now there is an agreement to appoint another engineer to facilitate the grant writing service.  Rich Cleveland, who just happens to be my opponent’s brother-in-law, runs CT Consultants.  So, looks like to me there seems to be some contracts that are trying to be shifted a particular way and open up the City to some liability issues because we have an appointed engineer already on record. That agreement was reviewed by the City Solicitor, and that agreement needs to be for grant writing services only.  That is what we approved at the last meeting.  We did not approve to hire a second engineer in regards to grant writing services.  I am not aware if you all took a look at it and read it to see that it clearly states that it is to use his engineering firm.  I am not going to open up the City to a liability.  Now, I have been instructed by the City Solicitor to contact Christopher who signed this agreement and ask him to prepare a new agreement for grant writing services.  That is what I intend to do. If you all want to support and hire a second engineer and go outside the scope that has been appointed by the City – then so be it.

Councilman Westcott said that he thought we already took action for this.

Mayor Davis said that action to appoint CT.
That document that you want me to sign states that they are to provide engineering services.

Councilman Faust said he was not aware of this.  He said that he talked to Jack and he did not add his input at the meeting.  He stated, “Brenda you did not bring this portion up at the meeting as well.”

Mayor Davis said that she did not have this information prior to give at the meeting.

Solicitor Cambest said that agreement can be amended to approve only for grant writing.

Councilman Faust said that he was not aware of this.

Mayor Davis said that execution of that agreement is also for engineering service as well as up to a 5% commission that was never discussed until Monday night when we just discussed it.  Before I sign anything I am going to have our legal team look it over and he is going to advise me and this Council if this is legitimate.  Right now it is signing us up to use their engineer.

Councilman Faust said that he does not agree with this, know this now.  However, can we move off of this engineering?

Mayor Davis said that that was exactly what she was going to do.  She will call CT and speak to Christopher and ask him to prepare one that states strictly grant writing. That is a template that they use for their engineering and just a line or two has been added in for grant writing services.

Councilman Manning said that the motion was already made last month.

Councilwoman Graham asked, “is it listed on this contract – 5%?”

Mayor Davis said that the City has never paid 5% commission for grant writing services. This is something brand new that we have never budgeted for in the past.

Councilman Faust said that we don’t have to have him selected to administer the grants if we can do it in house ourselves.

Mayor Davis said put a grant-writing contract in front of her – don’t give her a contract that says engineering on it.  Mayor Davis said that she will make a motion to table to Councilman Manning’s motion.

Councilman Faust said that he made the motion and that he rescinds his motion.  He said that he would like to have a clean agreement. We will get this clarified.  There is work going on right now that is affiliated with grant writing. He asked our Solicitor to work on this right away.

Solicitor Cambest said that he will work on this agreement tomorrow.

 

Councilman Faust then said that he understands that the SEIU negotiations have been going on for the last 5 months.  Unfortunately, nothing has been moving along.

A motion was made by Councilman Faust, seconded by Councilman Westcott, and carried, for the appointment of Joe Manning for the City lead and Ken Westcott to be the second chair for the contract negotiations going forward.

COMMENT:  Councilman Ken Westcott asked if there
could be an update.

Mayor Davis said, “yes, absolutely there
could be an update.”  The update regarding the SEIU . . .

Solicitor Cambest told Mayor Davis that she
can not get into the specifics, to only discuss the
generalities.

Mayor Davis said that there are issues with wages and healthcare.  That is pretty much what the issues are.  Mayor Davis stated, “She finds it interesting being a female, being dominated by the males here, all Mayors negotiate contracts, all of the sudden now they want to remove the Mayor from negotiating the contracts.  When I am in the negotiating meetings I am only conveying what you all have told me to do.  You all advocated for healthcare contributions.  Now, it is not my fault if the unions do not want to contribute one dime. It is not my fault. I am forwarding the message of what this Council would like to see occur.  But obviously, you would like to blame it all on me.”  Mayor Davis asked our Solicitor if she could give them any further update.

Solicitor Cambest said that those are the only 2 issues that he is aware of.

Mayor Davis said that it is very important that the general public knows that the City pays almost 2 million dollars a year in healthcare coverage for their employees with a contribution of zero from the City employees — no deductibles, no contributions.  That’s unheard of.  In this day and age with the affordable healthcare, and the new laws that go into effect, the new rules you have to follow, and the new fees you pay . . . the City has to incur the burden of that.  But at the same time the City is the taxpayers here.  It has been a long time since someone has been an advocate for the taxpayers.  It is time that this Council gets a backbone and says, “yes we need healthcare contributions from our employees.”  We cannot continue down this path of no contributions and no deductibles.  It is a free-for-all.  But the City taxpayers are paying a portion of their health care.  If they don’t have healthcare then they have to buy it through the exchange program.  So they are paying for their healthcare, they are paying high taxes, they are also paying the ACT 205 special tax on the pension; and they are not even working for the City of Washington.  Somebody also needs to stand up for the taxpayers beside myself and Councilwoman Graham.

Councilman Westcott said, “oh please, please.  If you have a motion, I will second that motion.”

Mayor Davis asked it there was any comment from the public.

 

Georgianna Farkus said that a quorum is needed, it takes all of you to agree and it takes all of you to disagree.  Assigning 2 people to do this is not acceptable.  Georgianna said that as far as she is concerned the City should have filed for bankruptcy.

Mayor Davis asked if there were any more
comments from the public.

 

ROLL CALL:     Councilwoman Tracie Graham – No

Councilman Kenneth Westcott – Yes

Councilman Joseph Manning – Yes

Councilman Terry Faust – Yes
Mayor Brenda Davis – No

 

 

Councilman Faust gave the Parks Department Report – as of May 2015.  The Washington Park pool is scheduled to open for the Memorial Day weekend including the holiday on Monday, May 25th.  The pool will be open on weekends until school is closed.  Daily pool hours are from 12Noon to 6:30PM.  The pool is open weather permitting.  The park reserves the right to close a session if attendance is really low.  Admission remains at $5.00 per person for ages 3 and up.  Wednesday night swim sessions are scheduled from 7PM to 10PM.  Admission is $3.00 per person.  No season passes are accepted for night swim sessions.  Pool passes cost $60.00 for a single pass and $140.00 for a family pass.  That is, the same price as last year.  They may be purchased on weekdays at the Park Office or at the swimming pool office during public swimming sessions.  Private pool parties cost $375.00 with a $100.00 refundable deposit.  Hours are from 7PM to 9PM.  Call the Park office for availability.  Tennis programs will be postponed until next year as the courts are scheduled for improvements this year.  Another thing is that the Bathhouse went under renovation this year with new roof, doors, ventilation, lighting, and new ADA accessible. He invites everyone to come and look at what has been done. The annual event “Art in Action” is scheduled at the Stone Pavilion on Sunday, June 7th from 11AM to 7PM.  There will be artisans demonstrating their art and will occur rain or shine.  There are also activities for children.

Mayor Brenda Davis reiterated that on this Saturday, from 9AM to 3PM, is our City-Wide Clean Up.  Dumpsters are available at St. Paul Church, 8th Ward and at the Tylerdale Fire Station.  At 10AM the Highland Ridge will have a crew set up in their garden.  The Washington Business District Authority is planning on cleaning up portions of Main Street.  Please plan on coming out to help if you have some time and participate.  Today is the National Day of Prayer. The prayer group walked down to City Hall and prayed on the steps with the Mayor.  She thanked them very much for coming.  As you can see, we definitely could use the presence of the Lord in this house.   Mayor Davis thanked the County Commissioners for starting the fund for the Farmer’s Market folks to help them “Raise the Roof.”  That is money that they had committed several years ago. Mayor Davis said that when she first was elected Mayor the Farmer’s Market folks came to her and to this Council and asked for cooperation; and, that is exactly what we gave them. With the partnership with the City of Washington, as well as W & J College, and the Washington Hospital additional monies were able to be drawn.  Then further moving forward, it was made possible to bring in more money through foundation support.  That is truly is a great cooperation at its finest here.  It will be a great asset for the City of Washington.  It has been at least 10 years since we have had new construction on Main Street.  It is very exciting for our City’s Main Street.  I would like to thank them for starting the fund for that pavilion.  Mayor Davis thanked Council for moving forward with the consolidation for the Washington City Transit and our staff who have worked with us here.  As you know, I am running for re-election and the mud is slinging.  So, apparently my opponent and his friends are running rampant and scared.  So, I am not going to address the comments that were made by the individual that has a building that is condemned on Main Street with my opponent’s sign.  I am going to stick to a positive campaign and obviously my credentials are at best and folks don’t like it.  Thank you all for coming out this evening.  This meeting is adjourned.

The Washington City Building will be closed on Monday, May 25, 2015 in observance of Memorial Day Holiday.  Regular office hours will resume on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 at 8:30AM.

The next regular meeting of Washington City Council will be held on Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 7PM in Council Chambers. The Agenda Meeting will be held on Monday, June 1, 2015 at 6PM, also in Council Chambers.

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

 

_______________________________________

Brenda Davis, Mayor

____________________________________

Christy S. Thomas, City Clerk