Special Meeting Minutes – December 22, 2014

A special meeting of Washington City Council was held Monday, December 22, 2014 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 Ken 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 – Pledge of Allegiance was done at the Public Hearing that occurred prior to this meeting.

A motion was made by Councilman Westcott, seconded by Councilman Manning, and unanimously carried, to approve the minutes of the December 4, 2014 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:

  • Fire Chief Linn Brookman spoke about the tragic fire that occurred in the City last Friday evening, December 19, 2014. He said that he wanted to publicly thank the outside agencies that came to assist, mainly North Strabane and Peters Townships.  He gave special thanks to the Washington City Police Department under the supervision of Lieutenant Lemons.  Our Police helped carry people down from the floors and rescued people from the hallways.
  • Georgia Ballentyne spoke about the garbage (Solid Waste). She said that there is an excess in the account and asked what the City’s plans are for this excess amount.

COMMENT:  Mayor Davis commented that this is a real good question.

Councilman Manning said that there is not an excess in this account.

Georgia asked and repeated, “there is not an excess – none at all?  Why will there be a 20% increase in the Solid Waste billing?”

Councilman Manning said again, “there is no excess in the account and that there will not be a 20% increase.”

Georgia continued by saying that she has HUD tenants and that the tenants are only required to pay $175.00 and with anything over that amount she must pay this out of her own pocket.  So an increase would hurt.  If there is excess . . .  she said again that it was her understanding that there is an excess.

Councilman Manning said again that there is no excess and that he has no idea where the rumor got started that there would be a 20% increase.

Mayor Davis then stated that today at 11AM Council was given a report – dated Accounts and Balances through November 30, 2014.  (Mayor Davis held up the report).   The account has $569,279.21 which we need to take into consideration that we did budget to transfer $150,000.00 out of here for administration costs. However,
that is a figure that we have not been able to come to an agreement.  Mayor Davis continued by saying $200,000.00
is needed to make the first quarter payment.  So with those two figures there is still an excess in that account.  If we
have $569,000.00 as of November 30th – we still have an additional 22 days this month that we have already
collected so this figure needs to be even a little higher than is in this account.

Georgia asked, “so what is the balance in this account – are you not sure of the balance?”

Mayor Davis stated, “the balance in the bank, as of November 30th, is $569,000.  That’s over a half of a million dollars.”

Georgia asked, “what is the City’s bill for the Solid Waste?”

Mayor Davis said that the bill is approximately $820,000.00 a year and that amount includes Recycling.  The City collects over $1,000,000.00 a year. The rate we are set at is $243.

Georgia said, “so the figures still don’t match.”   Figures are figures and if you add 2 plus 2 you get 4.  But that’s not adding up to the figures that they should be.

Councilman Manning said, “he does not know where the rumor got started that there is a 20% increase in the Solid Waste fee.  There is no increase in the Solid Waste fee. There is not an excess.”

Georgia said that there should be a deduction if there is an excess.

   Councilman Manning stated, “there is not an excess.”  Treasurer Adams is here this evening and I will call on him to clarify some of this. Portions of that fund that are in there go to Portnoff Associates for the collections of delinquent accounts. Every penny is accounted for.  My deputy did an exhaustive interview process with every department head in the City to account for every penny of the Solid Waste bill.  Up until 2009,
there was no Solid Waste account. Every thing that came in went into the General Fund.  Councilman Manning
continued that he is assuming that in 2009 – before he came to Council – it was a recommendation of the auditors
to put this special account in the budget in order to keep track and that is what is happening.  Every thing that goes
in there has to be paid back out – that includes the guys on the Street Department who empty the trash on Main Street as well as taking care of the playgrounds.

Georgia then asked, “so you are taking money other than for the Solid Waste,  you’re taking money for other things as well or just Solid Waste?”

Councilman Manning then stated, “on the recommendation of the auditors – contained in their audit – every thing that touches Solid Waste has to be accounted for.  The guys on the Street Department pick up trash on Main Street and at the playgrounds, the Code Enforcement Officer who cites people . . . every thing that touches Solid Waste”.

Georgia asked if this includes leaves that are picked up on the streets.

Councilman Manning said, “everything.”

Georgia said that the leaves are not being picked up properly.  When you have a storm sewer here, and a bunch of leaves here, no one picks up the leaves at the storm sewers.  Is it designated for the leaves to be picked up at certain corners or areas?

Councilman Manning said that is a whole other issue.  He said that he was not sure what she means.

Georgia then asked if there is an actual division between that and the actual garbage pickup. You are reiterating and including other City workers in that account beside the actual garbage that is picked up at the residences.  You are putting other people in there as well – that is supposed to be solely just for the garbage.  Why?

Councilman Manning then read the following from the auditor:  the expenses associated with Solid Waste should include both direct and indirect expenses associated with the billing, collection and enforcement of Solid Waste regulations. It should include any expenses associated with the collection of Solid Waste whether a by third party or an employee of the City.  Funds should be transferred from the Solid Waste Fund to the General Fund to cover Solid Waste expenses – both direct and indirect paid by the General Fund.

Georgia then said, “so you are transferring money to other accounts, right?”

Councilman Manning said, “we transfer it to the General Fund to cover every thing we paid out to cover  all of these expenses.”

Mayor Davis said that the key-part to that statement needs to be reasonable.  This is where we are not in agreement to what is reasonable.

Councilman Manning then said that the word reasonable is not included or not contained in the auditor’s explanation.

Mayor Davis said that it should have been contained.  The City can not overcharge for a service in which you are contracted for and attach all of these fees. They have to be reasonable. It is not reasonable.  I can not  use the figures you have given us because your figures have either half or 60% of these employee’s times and salaries are strictly spent on picking up garbage. That is reaching.

Georgia said that it should be laid out in plain figures exactly where the money goes, exactly where the money that the resident’s pay for Solid Waste versus any other money you are spending it for.  Because, basically, that is what it is supposed to be for.  I don’t understand how you can keep raising and raising – that was a tremendous increase last time – from $175.00 to $243.00 – that is almost $70.00 extra for me per tenant.  Some tenants put out a ton of garbage while others hardly put anything out.

Councilman Manning said that none of Council were happy with the increase.  That is just the way it worked.

Georgia said that basically there should have been excess.  You went up that high and even if Solid Waste raised their price on the pick up . . . that is still a lot of difference — a lot.

Councilman Manning said that Georgia is not letting him finish.  Back when we re-did the Solid Waste Contract, the City Clerk was in contact with me saying these bids need to go out, the contract is ready to expire.  I contacted all of my colleagues and did not receive a single response from them regarding mailing the bid packages out.  I worked with the City Clerk and the bid packages went out.  Councilman Manning continued by stating that he met with a DEP representative who looked at our contract, the tipping fees, and number of units serviced, everything.  This representative said that the fee should be down around $100.00 per unit.  Then at that time,     Councilman Manning emailed his colleagues, stating that he had great news. We should be able to reduce the Solid Waste fees to around $100.00 per unit.  As soon as that email went out . . . there was a flurry of activity from a Councilmember who is no longer here about including certain information in the bid packages such as trucks could not be older than 3 years old, they had to have single axle trucks, etc.  By that time all of the haulers who were going to bid on this dropped out. We had about 3 bids, which were done away with.  We only had Waste Management’s bid coming back. We were stuck. My recommendation was for the City to get out of the Solid Waste business altogether, and let you residents pick who you wanted.

Georgia said that this would have been great and the way it should be.

Councilman Manning said then the residents could have shopped around – go to County Hauling or Waste Management and shop around to get the best deal for your rental property and your personal home.  So be it.

Georgia responded by saying, “but that is not on the agenda.”

Councilman Manning continued, “he can not take the recommendation of the auditor, who the City pays for these recommendations. It is good budgeting practice. If you don’t have good budgeting practice then it will affect the City’s credit rating and all of the things that are connected.”

Mayor Davis stated, but if your numbers are not right to begin with and not reasonable. . . Mayor Davis said that she has no problem going with what the  auditor states. But, in the same sense, I am not going to gouge the tax payers with a $75,000.00 increase for administration costs to the Solid Waste item when it is not justifiable. If my memory serves me correctly, you (Councilman Manning) are the one who voted to increase the Solid Waste to $243.

Councilman Manning stated that there was only 1 no vote and he is no longer here. Mayor Davis said that she was a no vote, thank you very much.  She continued by saying that Councilman Manning needs to brush up on his meeting minutes.

Councilman Manning said that Mayor Davis is leading the public to believe that we’re taking in – the guys who work on the Street Department or the people who work in the Treasurer’s Office – are getting more money.  Nobody is getting more than what we take in.

Mayor Davis said, “the General Fund is”. You want to transfer an extra $75,000.00 – as a matter of fact you wanted to transfer an extra $25,000.00 this year, but we all agreed and it is in black and white right here, we all agreed in this year’s budget we would transfer $150,000.00 because it is reasonable and would off-set all the costs associated with the folks that touched the garbage. That was reasonable. We agreed to that. Then all of a sudden, same year your department wants to increase that by $25,000.00 with no true justification other than giving us a report with administration costs now, in this piece of paper, costing $302,428.00 for administrative costs associated to it,
based on these figures given to us. So, if this is justifying it to be why there is a $25,000.00 increase.  She has a problem with some of these numbers.

Georgia said she has a problem with all of this.  She has people who live in rural areas who pay one-half of what she pays.  So you know this money, or this increase of what she pays, there’s got to be a big over-load as far as the money
you received last year from $175.00 to $243.00 – it is almost double.

Mayor Davis stated, “it is only a 3-year contract, Mrs. Ballentyne. We have 1 more year to satisfy this contract.  So, in practicality, we have to come up with $820,000.00 next year in order to satisfy this agreement. At the end of next year it should be neutral – we should not be making money on it – we should be breaking even.  The process that we have been going through the last 2 years . . . there’s going to be extra money in this line item.  Blatantly, obvious today when this report comes out, to say that there is $569,000.00 in this account.  So, if we go with what is in the
bank right here . . . we will only have to come up with $300,000.00 to satisfy this agreement.”

Councilman Manning then asked Treasurer Dennis Adams if he could shed any light on this since his department handles this.

Treasurer Dennis Adams came to the microphone and spoke as follows:  approximately 8 years ago and Mr. Westcott was involved in this with us . . . the DCED (Department of Community and Economic Development) came in and stated to us several items they wanted the City to do to avoid going into bankruptcy. The DCED mandated that we have a fee, just like we are referring to tonight. Just like Councilman said, part of everyone that touches this fee must be incorporated into this fee that is charged to the public. There are a couple of things that are not being mentioned.  One is that myself and Lynn Galluze have worked diligently on a recycling grant and we got it.  The grant was for $250,000.00 and the City’s share was $25,000.  This $25,000.00 is what the Mayor is referring to that the Solid Waste Fund wants to pay back to the City.

Mayor Davis stopped Mr. Adams by asking if any of our City residents asked for this recycling pad – no.  This
is a project that our City wanted to take the lead on.  So, the Solid Waste line item should not be paying for this pad, in which you just said . . . you and Lynn Galluze are working on – you did not say anything about the residents here.  So,why should the residents be paying $25,000.00 for your recycling pad?

Treasurer Adams said because we are reimbursing the General Fund for it because it has to do with recycling.

Mayor Davis replied that in the General Fund we also have $25,000.00 coming from the LSA Fund.  It is
in the budget for this year. So how many places are we going to take $25,000?

Treasurer Adams said, “he does not know about the LSA Fund.  It should be coming, in his mind, out of the
Solid Waste Fund”.

Mayor Davis replied, “if the residents asked for that”.

Treasurer Adams said, “that this is a benefit to the City and the residents.  You are going to have a new pad out
there.  The City is going to get a truck and a chipper.”

Mayor Davis continued by saying, “the residents did not ask for this recycling pad to come out of their garbage bill.

Treasurer Adams said, “it is for the residents.”Christmas trees can be recycled.  We can do an awful lot here.

Georgia said that she disagrees with Treasurer Adams.

Councilman Manning asked Treasurer Adams if there is extra money in this fund.

Treasurer Adams replied as follows, “the excess money in this fund, basically from what he has looked at, is
money that has been . . . Portnoff is our debt collector. People who have not paid their Solid Waste bills have been
turned over to Portnoff.  He thinks, but is not positive of the figure – he thinks it is around $30,000 this year that has come in as debt collect over that trash . . . if you are to take it back about 4 of 5 years . . . just using that figure, 4 years or 3  years, you are talking $90,000.00 to $100,000.00 and that money should actually go back into General Fund too.  We need about $20,000.00 to $30,000.00 to start our year off because we have mailings – different things like that.

Mayor Davis said, “yes, that amount is already in
your line item in your budget.  That is a whole different
figure that is on top of the administration fee.” It has already
been allocated in the budget.”

Georgia stated that she feels that if there is excess money in the General Fund it
needs to broken down and put out for the public to see what is going to be done
with that money.  People who pay their garbage need to know that this money
goes to garbage, and when any amount is put in the General Fund, the public
should know why and when.

Mayor Davis thanked Georgia

  • Georgianna Farkus began by saying that she would explain to Georgia Ballentyne about the recycling pad.  It is located at the Washington Park for Christmas trees and things of this sort.  We have recycling containers that are by our garbage cans that are to contain paper, cardboard, bottles, cans, etc.  Georgianna asked Councilman Manning how it is determined how much is picked up by this recycling.

 

COMMENT:  Councilman Manning said that this
information does not come into his office – one would
have to go to Waste Management for this figure.

 

Georgianna asked, “does no one in City Hall receive this information?  This is a
major breakdown that she is inquiring about.  How would you know what you
are paying out?”

 

Mayor Davis stated, “yes Georgianna. Denny
Adams’ office, the Treasurer’s Office, receives this
information which is the amount of tonnage that Waste
Management collects.  This is the number that needs to be
increased. We need to encourage more folks to recycle at
their curb site.  The City gets a percentage based on the
tonnage collected.”

 

Georgianna said that Pittsburgh has an awesome advertisement on TV on
recycling.  She said that she is all for recycling.  She continued by saying that
she asked for documentation that Councilman Manning had given her.  She said
that this information is not totally clear and that she has not had a chance to get
together with Councilman Manning regarding these line items.  Georgianna said
that there is a balance that is due back to the people in the amount of around
$50,000.

 

Mayor Davis asked Georgianna if her report looked
like hers.  Mayor Davis held her report up.

 

Georgianna said – the Rental.  She said that she has the Rental.

 

Mayor Davis asked Treasurer Adams how much he
makes for being City Treasurer.

 

Treasurer Adams replied, $11,000.00”

 

Mayor Davis repeated, $11,000.  On this report it
shows that $5,500.00 of your salary is spent on Solid Waste.
I would think that you would also have Real Estate Taxes,
School Taxes, Mercantile, BP, Earned Income.  So, I am not
sure that half of your time is appropriate to charge the Solid
Waste folks when you are doing multiple jobs.  Not to
mention an extra $1,330.00 in recycling coordinator
benefits. So, $7,000.00 is coming out of the Solid Waste
Fund that reimburses the General Fund for Denny Adam’s
salary. Now again, I have a hard time believing that half of
your time is spent on garbage collection when you have all
of these other duties to be in line. That is where I say maybe
we need to look at just 10% of his time is spent and get the
numbers to be more reasonable.

 

Georgianna stated, “doesn’t he have a head of that department who also works to give him this information?  What is her salary?”

 

Mayor Davis said this is another story.  They have
the Solid Waste clerk; they have coverage for her when she
is on her lunch hour or on vacation.  That’s a cost to the tax
payers of almost $12,000.00 – that doesn’t even say if
someone walks in the door while she is on her lunch hour to
pay their bill.  Then another $10,000.00 in benefits; so,
basically $21,000.00 they are charging the Solid Waste Fund
to cover lunch hours, vacations and sick time.  Now if you
have your report I will go through this line by line.  The
Code Enforcement’s salary is $18,500.00 for answering
complaints, calls for garbage, and assist the clerk for
checking out issues.  Mayor Davis said that she believes that
this employee makes $35,000.00 with $18,500.00 of his
salary being spent on garbage collection?  She said that she
is not sure when the last time was that he actually went out
on a Sunday and started citing people who put their garbage
out earlier. Mayor Davis said that number is a little
bit high.  We can be more reasonable and say not half of his
salary . . . and Mayor Davis said, “I did not even mention to
the taxpayers here that you are being charged $15,646.00 for
his benefit package.  So now we are looking at $33,000.00
for the Code Enforcement’s time spent on garbage and over-
charging the tax payers.

 

Georgianna asked if Mayor Davis could repeat these figures.

 

Mayor Davis repeated the figures.  She continued
by saying that this is where we can be reasonable – maybe

15% of his time is spent on that.  She said she is not so sure
about half.

 

Georgianna said that there needs to be more clarification between the departments and exactly where the money is going if everyone is going to be team players.  She said that Mayor and Council do an awesome job and are working, as far as she knows, to their best capabilities.  However, when I sit here in the audience – month after month – and the line items are getting transferred from one to the other. The residents are not on your end — they are on this end.

 

Mayor Davis said, “you are on the cutting end.”

 

Georgianna said she wants to be clarified exactly where the money is coming from and why; she said that she is a person of the City . . . the taxpayers should be able to get this information during the meetings.  Perhaps at the Agenda Meetings that would be fine because she comes to the Agenda Meetings.  For the people it needs to be clarified.  Denny had brought up the can of worms that she was trying not to bring up – Act 47 for the Bankruptcy for the City.  If there will be more money brought for the garbage bills then there should be a refund to the taxpayers.  If you look at the documentation that was presented to her and to other people . . . the taxpayers have money coming back.  So, if you guys (Mayor and Council) feel that there is not money coming back this needs to be clarified.  It is not to be to take this money and put it over there and screw us for whatever.  Also, the pensions . . . if you guys cannot make your pensions then it is about time you need to take out a percentage.  You guys are real good on doing with percentages with this department and that department; so let’s start giving back to the people.  Georgianna said that she remembers going to Washington High School for the Comprehensive Plan.  We might as well have thrown that out the door.  Whatever came about that?

 

Mayor Davis said that she can elaborate about the
Comprehensive Plan. There are 119 recommendations in that
Comprehensive Plan.   We, as of June of this year, have
28 projects that have either been started or completed.  We
have been working really hard to fulfill the
recommendations on that Comprehensive Plan.  It is
unfortunate that the public does not see that.  The true
numbers are there, they will be updated and we will be
looking at that in January.  Considering that this is a 10-year
Comprehensive Plan . . . we are right on track.  It is only 2
years old.

 

Georgianna said great, and asked who was responsible for this progress and great results.

 

Mayor Davis said that it is this Council.  There are
issues and projects that they work on and do agree on.  But,
sometimes there are things that we can not agree on and this
does create diversity.

 

Georgianna then asked Treasurer Denny Adams to clarify this:  she was told when she purchased her West Chestnut Street property that 1 day, 1 month, 1 year that the Solid Waste had to be paid.  Now she was told that if someone is not living in an apartment or a house then it should be pro-rated.  Is this true or false?

 

Treasurer Denny Adams said that property is never
pro-rated.  Only if this happens late in the month of
November.

 

Georgianna asked Georgia how many apartments she has rented.

 

Georgia replied 2 are rented and that when she calls City Hall she gets the run around.

 

Georgianna said that she was trying to point out that she and Georgia are both honest people.  She wants to further discuss vacant apartments or houses in regards to Solid Waste fees.  She said that she wants to see the City strive.  However, the Solid Waste bill at $243.00 is ridiculous.  The curb-side recycling should be helping the Solid Waste fee more than what it does.  The numbers should be balancing better than what it is.  Georgianna said that she will be back to discuss all of this . . . that she does have accounting behind her.  She wants to put it on the books to come up with a plan to make this City grow.  There are a lot of good people who want our City to grow.

 

Mayor Davis said that she found the answer to
Georgianna’s question regarding the Deputy Treasurer’s

wages were included.  There is another $10,000.00 salary
that is coming out of the Solid Waste too. This individual is
only part-time and makes $25,000.00 per year.  You have
$10,000.00 of her salary coming out.  We requested 2 weeks
ago to have a budget work session and the public could
have been able to attend.  However, I was denied by
Councilman Manning.

  • Louise McClenathan spoke and said that she had to change her comments due to the article in the Washington Observer-Reporter – as certain parts of the article were misleading.  So she will not be handing out copies to Mayor and Council this evening. She said that 3 or 4 years ago she commented to City Council about Solid Waste budget item.  Joe Manning was in charge at that time.  She commented again at a later date about the same topic, but it was never addressed satisfactorily to her.  She stated her concerns are as follows:  Waste Management is a green company and they get a tax write-off for improving the environment.  She was told by a WM official (WM is their symbol on the New York Stock Exchange and she will be using the term WM in her comments to refer to Waste Management) by being a green company they give back to the community that they serve with things that the community needs, such as a playgrounds for children. This Mayor and Council are charged with doing the best thing possible for the City residents and Companies that do business in the City.  They should know the public and private companies’ needs. You can find the excellent statistics on this County – it is something that the Washington County Planning Commission puts out a report on our County’s vital statistics. Everybody on this Council and every member of every Board should have this report. You can Google it. It will tell you the number of residents having low income, the number earning a certain figure per year, how many graduated from high school, and so forth.  We have many low-income residents in the City.  Their Solid Waste fee is being raised. Louise said that she will ask questions, but will not ask for answers until her comments end – or, responses may be mailed to her.  Louise said that she knows all of the answers about Waste Management because she was on the telephone for 3 hours with them.  Here are some questions that she asked concerning our City:  #1 how many residents pay Solid Waste fees in the City, #2 how many City residents are on low income, #3 how many Council persons are on City pensions such as from the Fire Department, the Street Department, #4 are City Council member’s salaries still the same – they used to be $7,000 for Council and $9,000 for Mayor, #5 when was WM hired by the City and who was Mayor then – Louise said that she believes that the Mayor then was Sonny Spossey, #6 what was the fee for residents when WM was first hired – the fee now is $243.00 per year,  #7 what is the new fee in the budget and what percent has it been raised each year, #8 what percent of WM stock is publicly owned, #9 do employees of WM have a profit sharing plan #10 have any improvements been made in the City due to WM being a green company, #11 is it known by City Officials that WM owns its own recycling plant, #12 WM boasts in a phone-recorded message that WM donates land next to the landfill for a protective wildlife habitat.  At Arden, some years ago, WM was supposed to produce methane gas at Arden to be used to power local industries.  City Council had approved it, giving WM a break by increasing the landfill’s size.  No methane gas was ever found, so it never happened.  #12 does WM get any state tax breaks beside the federal tax break, #13 the bidding specifications are presented BY the City TO WM. Specs may be submitted as follows:  a) open bidding, b) most fair (fair being spelled out to voters), c) low man.  Has City Council ever been know to ask for open bidding, #14 South Strabane Township, across the street from her, deals with 5 possible bidders:  Fayette Waste, Republic of Pittsburgh (Republic is the 2nd largest Waste Company in the nation.  It is privately owned and not on the stock exchange, Pefner’s Waste, Fonner’s Waste and Waste Management (WM). It’s now being handled by Fonner’s Waste.  Louise said that she has the telephone numbers for these companies if anyone would like to have them.  #15 Mike Christ is WM’s negotiator for the City of Washington’s residents and lives up to the spelling of his last name CHRIST.  Bob Buzzy deals with businesses, and government facilities – like parks.  Louise continued by stating that South Strabane Township officials are more concerned about its residents than some City of Washington Council members.  Her personal experiences have not been positive with WM.  They have tossed her metal garbage cans into the street where they have been run over by vehicles.  WM replaced one of her metal cans with plastic cans that could not even be opened.  She has had to call many times due to her trash not being picked up.  She also has been on the telephone with David Steiner in Texas regarding an accident caused by a WM truck.  As to Lynn Galluze’s projected salary of $97,000.00 – Louise said she spoke to Lynn in Lynn’s office one day and asked how she got her grant information.  Lynn replied that she finds grants and then wrote one for the City to fit the grant.  Louise said that she was the Associate Director of Development for Waynesburg College.  Louise said that she would inquire as to the College’s needs first, then she found the grant to fit the College’s needs.  My mentor was Joe Leckie at W & J.  Mayor Spossey once hired a man to write grants for $100 per hour – this should be a salary position.  Louise said that she asked Ms. Galluze if she has submitted any grants to EITC.  Louise said that Lynn said, “no”.  Louise said that she suggested to Lynn to do so as it is one of WM’s grants given to communities. On a personal note, Louise said that she asked God why he put her on Earth.  Two years ago, at the age of 81, Louise said that she heard God’s answer. He said that he put Louise on Earth to be the caretaker of her family.  Louise said she did so until she broke her wrist last May – Louise said, “now it is time for me”.  I also gave you the gift of writing and I wrote children’s books.  Louise said that God put her on Earth to help those less fortunate than she was.  Louise concluded her talk with the following advice to our 3 Councilmen:  she held up 3 Wise Men religious Christmas figures and said that the men on this Council could be like the 3 Wise Men.  She hopes that they will become Wise Men and give their residents what they deserve; or they can turn their backs on honor and give the hard-earned income of our residents to Waste Management.  Louise said, “follow the star, follow the star – it is your choice gentlemen.  God Bless”.

 

  • Joe DeThomas thanked everyone for hearing him this evening. He said that he wanted to discuss the Solid Waste issue but did not realize so many people would be talking about this.  He has received some answers but still has some.  Since there is 1 year left on this contract and if there is a surplus at the end will there be a refund given at the end?  His other comment was on the roads.  DeThomas said that we have not had much snow at all this year.  The roads have been nice. He noticed that last year there were many, many delays because the road crews did not get out until after 8AM.  Am I wrong?

 

COMMENT:  Councilman Westcott said, “you are wrong.

We run 2 shifts, 24 hours per day.”

 

Mr. DeThomas said that when other people were in charge of the roads — he
noticed a big difference from then and now.  As a resident he wanted to bring this
forward.  He also reminded everyone that he still believes that there has to be a
second entrance into the Park.

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

ORDINANCE  NO.  1862  BILL  NO. 3  OF  2014

 

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF  WASHINGTON,  WASHINGTON   COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, APPROPRIATING SPECIFIC SUMS ESTIMATED TO BE REQUIRED FOR THE SPECIFIC PURPOSES FOR THE CITY GOVERNMENT HEREAFTER SET FOR THE YEAR 2015.

(Budget Ordinance)

 

                                             COMMENT:   Councilwoman Graham stated that she felt that a work
session should have been held.  She still has unanswered questions
and one of them is about the IT Department.  When Louise was
saying that $97,000.00 that does not match the contract that we have.
Councilwoman Graham believes that if we are paying someone
$72,000.00 for computers / IT, and we are paying an additional
$20,000.00 or $25,000.00 for other duties . . . that should be separated
as other duties from IT.  These other duties are not related to IT and
they should be listed separately.

 

Councilman Manning said that these are separated.