City of Elyria > Category:Committee Minutes

Committee Minutes

EVENT: Wed. Nov. 1, 2017 - Wed. Nov. 1, 2017

Oct 10, 2017 Finance Meeting Minutes

Posted on November 1, 2017 at 9:08 am

The tape of this meeting is on file in the Council Clerk’s Office.

TO THE HONORABLE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ELYRIA, OHIO:

The Finance Committee held a meeting on Monday, October 10, 2017 at 6:07 P.M. in Council Chambers.

PRESENT: Committee Chair Stewart, Members Tanner, Madison, Baird, Lotko ABSENT: None

OTHERS PRESENT: Mayor Brinda, Safety Service Director Siwierka, Law Director Serazin, WWPC Superintendent Korzan, Engineer Ujvari, Finance Director Pileski, Police Chief Whitely, Assistant Safety Service Director Brubaker, Communications Superintendent Showalter

 

1. Approval of the 9/25/2017 Meeting Minutes.

Tanner moved and Baird seconded to approve the minutes of the 9/25/2017 Finance Committee Meeting.

MOTION CARRIED

2. The matter of certifying a list lot mowing charges to the Lorain County Auditor’s Office.

REFERRED BY: Safety Service Secretary, Ginny Hawes

This is standard procedure.

Baird moved, seconded by Tanner to recommend a resolution to certify lot mowing charges to The Lorain County Auditor’s Office

MOTION MOVED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTEN3. The matter of placing a Lien on the property of 334 Princeton Ave. for emergency tree removal.

REFERRED BY: Assistant Safety Service Director Brubaker

Mr. Brubaker explained that the tree that was on private property and it had to be removed because it was a very dangerous tree, a large limb had already fallen and had damaged the neighbor’s property. This is the first time that we’ve taken down a tree on private property. It had to be removed because it was a safety issue. The owner is deceased and the family members have denied all liability to the property and the house is currently in foreclosure. Due to the fact that it is in tax foreclosure we would like to get in on the lien for the potential that the City could get our money back to protect the City interest.

Mr. Baird said the value of the property value is $89,000 and unpaid taxes are $10,000. Mr. Brubaker said the house is in fairly good condition and feels the house will sell for the amount of the taxes and any other liens on the property including the lien for the tree.

Baird moved, seconded by Madison to recommend a resolution to place a lien on the property of 334 Princeton Ave. for emergency tree removal.

MOTION MOVED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTEN 

4. The matter of a request to re-classify City Council Secretary from Administrative Secretary to Secretary III.

REFERRED BY: Council Clerk Office

Mr. Bullocks spoke to the committee and said that this matter is referring to Mrs. Billman and explained that Mrs. Billman is not an Administrative Secretary, where she supervises or makes decisions as described under the title of Administrative Secretary. Mrs. Billman was given the Administrative Secretary title years ago and now with the exempt and non-exempt that’s coming into effect, she does not meet the FCLA for supervisors, running the department, making decisions and so forth, which fall under the job duties of the clerk. Mr. Bullocks said that the Law Director said that her title should be changed with no pay increase from Administrative Secretary to Secretary III. This title change would make her position become a non-exempt position as opposed to exempt position.

Mr. Baird asked for the issue of overtime in Chapter 165 to be clarified. Ms. Deery stated that she understands that at the time Nell Fike retired prior to coming back on board with the City, she had the title of Administrative Secretary and upon her return, Mrs. Billman assumed the position of Administrative Secretary and Ms. Fike took the position of Secretary. She and Ms. Fike basically switched job classifications. Based upon the audit for purposes of determining which jobs are exempt and non-exempt, the job classification of Administrative Secretary has been determined to be exempt for purposes of Fair Labor Standards Act; it’s Federal Law. That is what has brought this issue to light.

There are no employees that are working without getting some kind of compensation. It’s a matter of whether employees will get time and a half. Will they get overtime or will they only be allowed to get it as ‘comp’ time? The review of these positions was done fairly recently and up until then Mrs. Billman had been receiving overtime at time and a half. As Mr. Bullocks explained the job responsibilities in the Council Clerks’s office, there is no supervising, which would be what would make someone exempt. Ms. Deery is not aware if Susan Anderson reviewed this particular job title.

There are other Administrative Secretary positions throughout the city and they may have different or similar responsibilities.

Mrs. Siwierka clarified that the Administrative Secretary position was not reviewed by Susan Anderson.

The Administrative Secretary position has been an exempt position since Chapter 165 was created in 1990. Through an error in payroll, the administrative secretaries were given overtime. There were other employees where that error was made in payroll. Part of the change was to clean that up and correct it, Ms. Deery is correct: Ms. Fike was the Administrative Secretary until she retired and when she came back, she became the Secretary and Mrs. Billman was promoted to Administrative Secretary. As an Administrative Secretary she is entitled to overtime after 40 hours worked, at time for time, not time and a half. But this was not a position that was reviewed. The duties haven’t changed, so to change the title, you may have the Department of Labor coming in and will question why the change, based on what? The duties have remained exactly the same. The issue is time and a half versus time for time, straight time or overtime, that’s the difference.

Mr. Baird asked what the work hours are for the clerk’s office. He asked because he had noticed Mrs. Billman at the office before City Hall is even opened. Mrs. Bullocks said that Mrs. Billman was given the hours of 6:30 – 3:00 by the previous clerk. Mr. Bullocks said the one problem he had was when the other person in the office was off then the office would be closed after 3:00. Mrs. Billman said that if the other secretary, Ms. Rosado, is off then Mrs. Billman would stay until 4:30 to keep the office open. There is no overtime involved with Mrs. Billman coming in at those early hours.

Mr. Baird said that as the Safety Service Director indicated, there doesn’t seem to be a real reason to change it and that is his feeling as well.

Mr. Bullocks said that the reason that the issue was brought up was because Mrs. Billman didn’t meet some of the criteria that was in the Fair Labor Standards. One of those issues is that the employee would have to make over $47,000 and Mr. Bullocks isn’t sure if Mrs. Billman makes over that amount to be classified as a supervisor. She is a Secretary just like Ms. Rosado.

Mr. Pileski said that there are other Administrative Secretaries so we have to be careful, we don’t want to have a snowball effect with others coming forward to have their title changed to a non-exempt position.

Mrs. Siwierka reminded the committee that there are other criteria for exemption and the position has been exempt since 1990. There are other exemptions, for example she is working for elected officials and there is confidentiality involved. It clearly was an error in payroll that has now been corrected. She still gets overtime after 40 hours worked, but it’s time for time, not time and a half.

Mr. Stewart feels that if we make this change, others may want to have the same consideration. He would recommend to stay with the course of what has been put in place.

Mr. Tanner asked what the difference between Secretary and Administrative Secretary would be. Mr. Bullocks said it’s strictly just a title change. Ms. Deery explained that as of now, there is no Secretary III position that exists, there is Secretary I and Secretary II. So what this referral is proposing is to create a Secretary III position which would mirror what Mrs. Billman’s current roles are, including the same salary. A Secretary III would be a non-exempt position. But it would look very much like an Administrative Secretary position. Again, the City’s Administrative Secretary position was not reviewed. If it was, maybe it would come out that it was exempt, or maybe it would have come out that it was non-exempt.

Mr. Pileski clarified the difference between an exempt position and a non-exempt position; an exempt employee will get ‘time for time’ when they work over 40 hours in a week, if they are non-exempt, they will get ‘time and a half’. That is the difference going from Administrative Secretary, exempt to Secretary III, non-exempt, it’s just the time and a half factor.

Mrs. Siwierka said that by creating a Secretary III position, it could open a ‘can of worms’. It would need to be determined if it was Civil Service protected, which opens up a whole different thing. The ‘Administrative Secretary’ positions have always been exempt.

Mr. Stewart said that Mrs. Billman’s situation is unique to itself. He is in favor of leaving it the way that it is, that she is classified as Administrative Secretary. It’s nothing against Carol, she does a fantastic job for Council, but he feels that is the best way to go forward with this matter.

Baird moved, Madison seconded to get the matter on the floor.

The motion is on the floor and the committee needs to vote.

All in favor of the change, signify by saying Aye = 0

All opposed, signify by saying Nay = 4

MOTION NOT CARRIED 5. The matter of authorizing the Mayor to enter into a contract with Brian K. Balser to represent the City regarding a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies and suppliers of opioids on a contingent fee basis.

REFERRED BY: Law Director Serazin

Mayor Brinda said this was brought forward by Law Director Serazin. Elyria, like many cities, is in this unfortunate situation. It tends to be compounded in our urban area. The local government fund is declining as a result of funds being referred to opioid programs. We need to do everything we can to address this at the root cause. Research backs up the fact that this epidemic started with the drug companies who took a drug that was originally to be prescribed for those with chronic pain associated with terminal illnesses. It’s been over-prescribed and we are now living with the outcome of it.

The city of Dayton was the first city to do this and was followed by Lorain and 5 more since then. It makes sense for Elyria to do this, especially since it’s on a contingency basis.

Baird moved, Madison seconded to recommend the approval to authorize the Mayor to enter into a contract with Attorney Brian K. Balser to represent Elyria in a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies and suppliers of opioids on a contingency basis.

MOTION CARRIED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTEN 

6. The matter of the donation of City funds for improvements to 106 Middle Avenue which was donated to the Community Investment Corporation.

REFERRED BY: Finance Director Pileski

Mr. Pileski stated that since this matter has been referred, the City has determined that it’s not legal for tax money to be donated to the CIC. So, since Issue 6 is tax money, the question now becomes rather than donate money to the CIC, can the City directly pay for the repairs with Issue 6 money? There is money appropriated in economic Development Department of the Issue 6 Fund. It is clear that we cannot donate money to The Community Improvement Corporation, but we can pay the contractor directly from City Funds.

Mayor Brinda explained that this property was a donation from the Schmittgen Family. The property is Kimberly Plaza on the Square. It’s a prime piece of Real Estate. The Building Department did a thorough inspection. It’s in very good shape. The CIC determined that it’s a good value and good for Economic Development for Downtown so we could have some control over the property. There were a number of inquiries. There is someone who has been working with our Community Development Department and she would like to open a Bridal/Dress Shop. This prospective tenant has been successful at applying for other monies and has communicated to the City that she is willing to sign a long term lease and willing to make some major improvements to the building itself. The repairs are just reconfiguration of walls to accommodate the bridal shop. They will replace the carpets and refinish the floors on the second floor.

The property is currently valued at $94,000 and they have offered to make $20,000 worth of improvements. The Mayor is asking for the City to fund the improvements for the reconfiguration that it will take to make the building a retail store to accommodate the bridal/dress shop. A case can be made for Economic Development.

Mr. Madison wanted to clarify that $10,000 is to be taken out of Issue 6 Funds and used for the repairs and not to donate the money to the CIC? Mayor Brinda answered, yes, that is correct.

Mr. Baird said that this is worth while and positive and that’s what we’re looking for the Economic Development money to be use for.

Mr. Stewart stated he would support the project and a good opportunity to use those funds.

Mr. Pileski reminded that there is money appropriated in the Economic Development account under Issue 6 Fund.

Baird moved, Madison seconded to recommend the donation of City funds for improvements to the building located at 106 Middle Avenue which has been donated to the Community Investment Corporation.

MOTION CARRIED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTEN7. The matter of a request to amend the 2017 Permanent Appropriations.

REFERRED BY: Finance Director Pileski

Mr. Pileski said regarding the 2016 half percent income tax fund, that the Police Department is not spending everything that is appropriated for wages. The Police Chief requested $50,000 to be moved from Salary & Wages to Capital Outlay for a Van for the Special Response Team. Mrs. Siwierka said the current Special Response Team van is a 20-year-old Brinks Truck that was donated to the City. The mechanics have kept it on the road. It’s certainly not the right type of modern technology vehicle. The chief came forward asking that we consider money to order this vehicle that will be used by the Special Response Team, Swat situations, hostage situations. It’s specially equipped vehicle for weather. The Sheriffs Department has one. It’s similar to a tank, but it’s not a tank. The $50,000 is to buy this vehicle that will already be equipped.

Mr. Baird wanted to be assured that there were not any other avenues that might be available to get another donated vehicle. Mrs. Siwierka said that they are not aware of any.

Mr. Madison asked how many times we’ve used the current vehicle. Mrs. Siwierka and Mr. Brubaker stated that it’s used frequently several times a month. Mr. Brubaker said it’s also been used in drug raids. But, it hasn’t been used for sometime because it’s sitting at CMG. They can’t use it. They are currently using an old cargo van.

Baird moved, Madison seconded to amend the 2017 Permanent Appropriations per discussed.

MOTION CARRIED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTEN 

Mayor Brinda wanted to bring the attention to committee members regarding the memo that was put in their mailboxes. The memo is regarding a proposed Economic Development Contract. She asked everyone to look at it. The contract is for less than $50,000 and she would like everyone to agree. She would like council’s blessing. It needs to be a team approach. There a 2 projects that came from recommendations for Jump Start Elyria and The Redevelopment Plan for the Mall. One is for a project on the Washington Ave parking lot and higher end residential housing near Midway Mall. In order to advance those projects they need design work done, which is what this request is for.

Mr. Stewart said he would like to call a Strategic Planning Meeting to discuss this issue further. That meeting would take place November 6th and he would confirm that with Mr. Lotko and confirm back with the Mayor. If Council has any questions between now and then, they should contact the Mayor’s office and then the issue will be discussed on November 6th.

Baird moved, Madison seconded to adjourn the Committee Meeting at 8:01 P.M.

MOTION CARRIEDSubmitted by,

 

 

Colleen Rosado, Secretary

 

EVENT: Mon. Nov. 20, 2017 - Mon. Nov. 20, 2017

Oct 30, 2017 Finance Meeting Minutes

Posted on November 20, 2017 at 10:35 am

The tape of this meeting is on file in the Council Clerk’s Office.

TO THE HONORABLE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ELYRIA, OHIO:

The Finance Committee held a meeting on Monday, October 30, 2017 at 7:30 P.M. in Council Chambers.

PRESENT: Committee Chair Stewart, Members Tanner, Madison, Baird ABSENT: Lotko

OTHERS PRESENT: Mayor Brinda, Safety Service Director Siwierka, Law Director Serazin, Finance Director Pileski, Assistant Safety Service Director Brubaker, Assistant Finance Director Farrell

 

1. Approval of the 10/10/2017 Finance Meeting Minutes.

Baird moved and Tanner seconded to approve the minutes of the 10/10/2017 Finance Committee Meeting.

MOTION CARRIED

2. The matter of removing a lot mowing lien from the property at 947 Oakwood St. which was placed inadvertently on the property’s tax duplicate.

REFERRED BY: Assistant Safety Service Director Brubaker.

Mrs. Siwierka said that the lot mowing charges were sent to the Lorain County Auditor’s Office in error, it was an error of the address.

Baird moved, seconded by Tanner to recommend a resolution to remove lot mowing charges that were inadvertently placed on the tax duplicate of the property of 947 Oakwood St.

MOTION MOVED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTEN 

3. The matter of applying for and accept if offered, Grant Funds of up to five million dollars, known as the Bloomberg Mayor’s Challenge.

REFERRED BY: Mayor Brinda

Mayor Brinda explained that the City of Elyria was offered this opportunity through the Bloomberg Foundation. Elyria was one of 300 communities invited and we accepted the challenge. Fifteen community partners have been assembled to choose Elyria’s main focus which ended up being; to lower Elyria’s poverty rate by 5% and close employment gaps. Currently in Elyria we have an estimated 1,600 manufacturing jobs open. Employers are having a difficult time filling those including some entry level positions. There are also pilot employers who have offered to change their employment criteria to include screens in policies, more family friendly policies and collaborative in the wrap around services. We would be combining the work experience with a social service intervention. Even if we don’t get any money the Community Partners Group wants to continue to work together. They will be giving out 35 Challenge Grants and if we meet that criteria we would be eligible for one of 5 one million dollar grants and one five-million dollar grant will be awarded for full implementation.

There is no match requirement and the city has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Baird moved, seconded by Tanner to recommend applying for and accept if offered, Grant Funds of up to five million dollars, known as the Bloomberg Mayor’s Challenge.

MOTION MOVED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTEN4. The matter of a request for transferring $500,000 of demutualization funds from the City of Elyria to the Elyria Community Improvement Corporation for the purpose of creating a gap financing loan fund.

REFERRED BY: Mayor Brinda

Mayor Brinda stated that the way the committee report was read was not the way that she sent the referral through. She said that council needs to consider the transfer of funds into the Elyria Community Improvement Corporation, which is actually a separate 501C4. That would create the loan fund. Council would be designating the transfer of the funds for the purpose of creating a GAP Finance Loan Fund. But, the actual establishment of the Loan Fund would be done by the Elyria Community Improvement Corporation. As explained in Executive Session, the City is trying to assist a large Northeast Ohio business with the relocation of their Corporate Headquarters. They are considering the former Macy’s building. The owner has asked and the Elyria CIC has complied with the owners request to sign a confidentiality agreement. It is recommended that the City assists in establishing this loan. It will help reinvigorate the Mall area. The business in question will make an investment of 3.362 million dollars and create 22 new jobs over three years. A loan of $500,000 is needed to provide GAP financing. This is one of the reasons that Community Improvement Corporations (CIC) were created, to be able to meet the need for GAP financing when other traditional financing cannot complete a deal.

There have been questions related to the legality of using demutualization money for this purpose. Mayor Brinda referred to a legal opinion from Elyria CIC’s legal counsel, Todd Baumgartner. Mayor Brinda presented a memorandum to Council and it is attached herewith, made a part thereof and designated as Exhibit “A.”

Attorney Todd Baumgartner sent a memorandum which explains the type of fund that can be deposited into the Elyria CIC by the City. That memorandum is attached herewith, made a part thereof and designated as Exhibit “B.”

Also, attached herewith, made a part thereof and designated as Exhibit “C” is the Code of Regulations of the Elyria Community Improvement Corporation.

The Elyria Law Director and Finance Director have both reviewed the documents and have agreed that these demutualization funds can legally be transferred from the City to the Elyria CIC for the purpose of creating a loan fund. It is the responsibility of the Elyria CIC Board of Trustees to determine if a loan request is worthy. Council does not make this determination but does have a say so through it’s designated appointees, which are Law Director Scott Serazin and Council Member Jack Baird. The CIC is also required to have the Mayor on board and also the Mayor’s Legal Counsel is part of the board as well as an Elyria Citizen, Pete Duffield, who is a CPA with Beckett Corp.

Mr. Madison asked, if once Council makes a decision, does that mean that the City no longer has access to those funds, since the funds have been moved over into another account? The Mayor answered that question, stating Yes, that is correct. Though, in the contract negotiations, they could use some of the same criteria that are used in other abatement projects. And clauses could be added. Counsel will be negotiating this.

Baird moved, Tanner seconded to get the matter on the floor and to amend the previous committee report that was made in error and which has been re-worded.

MOTION CARRIED

Tanner moved, Baird seconded to approve a donation of $500,000 of demutualization funds from the City of Elyria to The Elyria Community Improvement Corporation for the purpose of creating a GAP Finance Loan Fund. (Mr. Madison noted for the record that he abstained from this vote).

MOTION CARRIED – ABSTAIN = 1 (Madison) COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTEN

Mr. Baird asked the Mayor to speak on the leveraging of the amount the City received and what we’ve gotten out of it. Mayor Brinda said the most significant project was the reconfiguration of Route 57 and the 49th Street Bridge. Ultimately that project totaled almost twenty three-million dollars and the City’s match was less than a tenth of that. There was money left over which is where this unexpected level of demutualization funds are now available and the good news is we will get it back again. The criteria of investing and knowing that we will get it back again for re-use is a plus for our City. The improvement of Middle Avenue was also used with some of those funds and other Federal and State projects. Those funds have gone a long way.

5. The matter of approval of a Resolution of Opposition of Ohio House Bill 49.

REFERRED BY: Finance Director Pileski

Finance Director Pileski started by saying that HB 49 is also know as the Bi-annual Budget Bill and contains a provision that gives companies the option of filing their net profit returns with Ohio as opposed to the cities or their agents, in our case, being the Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA). If a company opts to file with the state of Ohio, it takes away the city’s rights to audit those returns. The State will collect the money and give it to the cities quarterly. Currently we receive it twice a month from RITA and they withhold one percent for their collection fee. The state will try to take over municipal income tax collections completely. Mr. Pileski doesn’t know how cities will survive with getting their main source of revenue quarterly as opposed to twice a month. There has been a coalition of around 200 municipalities that have retained counsel to file litigation challenging the constitutionality of these changes to the Ohio Municipal Income Tax Law and Elyria has to take some type of position against it.

Mr. Serazin said that by giving up control of taxing authority, it will make the cities very vulnerable to the state. There are three options that Elyria can consider; first: Elyria can pass a resolution supporting the action of the people who are opposing this legislation, to get it repealed or declared unconstitutional. It’s unlikely that the State Legislature will do anything with respect to repealing it, being as how they are very clearly anti-municipality. Second: Elyria can join in the lawsuit that has about 200 municipalities involved in it and it would cost $8,000. Third: there could be a joint action in the Lorain County Common Pleas Court and the Regional Income Tax Agency and it would be filed at the Common Pleas Court level. We might get better action at a local Common Pleas Court as opposed to a State Court. The firm that will be used for this litigation is Walter Haverfield and the lead attorney is Steve Byron. The City would not be obligated to pay any of the attorney fees. We would be part of a joint litigation in this action and it would be filed locally. It would only cost some time and effort. The letter of engagement is lengthy and it explains the process. There is no guarantee that Lorain County will be the venue chosen. This needs to get going as soon as possible to get an injunction. There will be no fees for Elyria, RITA will pay the fees and it will be filed in Lorain County and every possible step will be taken to stop House Bill 49.

Baird moved, Madison seconded to recommend a Resolution of Opposition and support of Challenging Ohio House Bill 49 to prevent it becoming law.

MOTION CARRIED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTENBaird moved, Madison seconded to recommend a Resolution to authorize the Mayor to enter into the letter of engagement with Walter Haverfield in regard to a joint representation to commence litigation on behalf of the City challenging HB 49.

MOTION CARRIED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTEN 

6. The matter of a request to amend the 2017 Permanent Appropriations.

REFERRED BY: Finance Director Pileski

The NSP and Block Grant fund changes are requested by Ashley Scott. We will be moving Grant monies to the NSP Fund and the Block Grant Fund. The Health Grant Fund does owe the General Fund some monies. The amount of $15,845 is sitting in the Health Grant Fund and we would be moving it into the General Fund.

Mr. Serazin brought up a request for $930 to be moved from Legal Administration, line item Membership Fees to line item Professional Services to pay an invoice owing LEADS for 2017.

Mr. Pileski said that the request to move the $930 is in the same major account and therefore does not need an appropriation change.

Baird moved, Madison seconded to recommend amending the 2017 Permanent Appropriations.

MOTION CARRIED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTEN 

7. The matter of an unencumbered bill in the amount of $795.00 from the Law Director’s Office for a bill from LEADS – Ohio State Highway Patrol.

REFERRED BY: Law Director Serazin

As explained the unencumbered bill is from 2016, Invoice # L2403 for LEADS – Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Baird moved, Madison seconded to recommend payment of an unencumbered bill in the amount of $795.00 from the Law Director’s Office for a bill from LEADS – Ohio State Highway Patrol.

MOTION CARRIED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTENBaird moved, Madison seconded to adjourn the Committee Meeting at 8:10 P.M.

MOTION CARRIEDSubmitted by,

 

Colleen Rosado, Secretary

 

EVENT: Tue. Sep. 26, 2017 - Tue. Sep. 26, 2017

Sept 11, 2017 Finance Meeting Minutes

Posted on September 26, 2017 at 4:10 pm

The tape of this meeting is on file in the Council Clerk’s Office.

TO THE HONORABLE COUNCIL, CITY OF ELYRIA, OHIO

The Finance Committee held a meeting on Monday, September 11, 2017 at 6:07 P.M. in Council Chambers.

PRESENT: Committee Chair Stewart, Members Tanner, Madison, Baird, Lotko ABSENT: None

OTHERS PRESENT: Mayor Brinda, Safety Service Director Siwierka, Law Director Serazin, WWPC Superintendent Korzan, Engineer Ujvari, Finance Director Pileski, Police Chief Whitely, Assistant Safety Service Director Brubaker, Communications Superintendent Showalter

Mr. Stewart called the Finance Committee Meeting to order at 6:07 on September 11, 2017

1. Approval of the 8/28/17 and 9/5/2017 Meeting Minutes.

Lotko moved and Baird seconded to approve the minutes of the 8/28/17 and 9/5/2017

Finance Committee Meeting.

MOTION CARRIED

 

2. The matter of a request to Adopt the Updated and Revised Codified Ordinances of the City of Elyria, (informally known as the “re-codification” process).

REFERRED BY: Law Director’s Chief of Staff Deery

Mr. Serazin said this is a standard annual process to codify the ordinances that have been passed by Council and which effect the ECO. His office goes through the ordinances to make sure they have correct back up. They have finished that process and have listed all the changes and new pages will be received once the matter has been passed by council.

Tanner moved, seconded by Baird to recommend approval of the updated and revised Codified Ordinances of the City of Elyria.

MOTION MOVED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTEN 

3. The matter of a request to Certify Demolition Charges of 835 Fairwood Blvd. to the Lorain County Auditor’s Office. REFERRED BY: Assistant Safety Service Director Brubaker

Mr. Brubaker explained that there was a house fire at said property and was reported to be beyond repair, therefore the City had to do an emergency demolition. The property owner had no homeowners insurance. In order to protect the interest of the city, Mr. Brubaker is asking for a lien to be placed on the property taxes for the demolition cost of $12,000 which had come out of the General Fund.

Lotko moved, seconded by Baird to recommend to certify the demolition cost of said property for the amount of $12,000 to the Lorain County Auditor’s Office.

MOTION MOVED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTEN 

4. The matter of the Renewal of various Insurance Policies, current Policies will expire 9/30/2017.

REFERRED BY: Safety Service Director Siwierka

Mrs. Siwierka had passed out a sheet that shows the current and renewal vendors for various insurance policies. The City’s broker did some price comparisons and what is listed are the best pricing. Travelers Insurance will have our property, liability, inland marine and crime package.

Boilers will stay with XL Insurance of America and the Cyber Security is still with BCS Insurance.

Travelers did a full audit of our facilities. We have a couple of pending things, we settled a few claims for termination and one is still pending. The inland marine insures all the equipment that does not go out on the roadway. The rest are self explanatory.

Baird moved, Lotko seconded to approve the matter of renewal of various policies.

MOTION CARRIED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTEN 

5. The matter of approving an Ordinance authorizing the Mayor to apply and accept, if offered, Grant Funding, (TLCI Grant). w/Utilities REFERRED BY: Engineer Ujvari

Mr. Ujvari said that this referral is similar to one that was made a year ago. NOACA is providing the possibility of Grant money for the TLCI Implementation. The request is for $60,000 which is around a 20% match on a $350,000 Grant. The limits on the project would be the downtown area, 2nd Street; new crosswalks and new lighting. The City was successful in the last 2 applications and hoping to be successful in this one as well.

Mr. Baird asked if this project includes Lorain County bikeway and connectivity? Mr. Ujvari said that one of the criteria is to provide connectivity.

Madison moved, Baird seconded to recommend an Ordinance to allow the Mayor to apply for TLCI Grant Funding.

MOTION CARRIED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTEN 

6. The matter of approving an Ordinance authorizing the Mayor to replace street light bulbs on State Route 57 to LED Bulbs. w/Utilities

REFERRED BY: Safety Service Director Siwierka

Mrs. Siwierka started by saying that Mr. Showalter, of the Communications Department had asked for a consideration to use Issue 6 money to change the type of light bulbs on Rt. 57 to LED Bulbs.

It’s very dangerous when crews have to change the bulbs. There will be a return on the money in about 5 years.

Mr. Stewart brought up the issue of light poles that are down, saying that every time a pole gets put back up another one gets knocked down. If we would consider Issue 6 Funds, Council would have to look at that as a whole.

Mr. Ujvari weighed in on the discussion saying that there are certain conditions on Rt. 57 that are targeted for consideration. One being, is to consider is the placement of light poles, especially ones that are in the median of Rt. 57. We should consider a possible alternative location for the poles. To possibly move to the outside of Rt. 57 and stay away from the clear zone. It’s something that should be considered before we move into the replacement of LED’s. In the event a pole is hit the luminar along with the bulb will be destroyed. That should be factored in.

Mr. Madison asked where the money comes from to replace the poles and bulbs? Mr. Showalter said it comes out of the Communications Repair & Maintenance Fund. Mr. Madison also asked if the City gets reimbursed for the cost of replacing the poles by the individuals who hit them? Mrs. Siwierka answered that about 30 percent, maybe 40 percent of damages get paid for by insurance, but many insurance carriers are requesting that we depreciate to value of the poles and so they don’t pay the full value of the poles.

Mr. Showalter said that the every bulb on the Rt 57 poles have to be replaced every 2 years. It’s a maintenance issue. Right now we are using around 90,000 watts of electricity per year and with LED bulbs we will only be using around 30,000 watts per year. And those bulbs will have a 60,000 hour life expectancy which would be almost 20 years before they would have to be replaced again. Mr. Tanner asked why those break away poles were placed so close to the road to begin with?

Mr. Showalter said that the breakaway base is for the safety of the motorists.

Mrs. Siwierka suggested that Council ponders both of these issues; the matter of replacing the bulbs to LED and the matter of moving the light poles and get some feedback from Mr. Ujvari and Mr. Showalter, because these are 2 different things. As stated, when the poles go down they need to be ordered from the company because they don’t keep them in stock, they are made as they are ordered, so that is why there is a 10-12 week delay for the replacement.

Mr. Lotko is in agreement with the director that Council needs to explore these issues and Council would have to be in agreement as to how the City would pay for the LED’s.

Mr. Stewart stated that this issue will go into pending items.

Matter has been tabled.

 

7. The matter of a review of several Supervisory Salary Ranges for Non-Bargaining Managers, Department Heads and Superintendents.

REFERRED BY: Mayor Brinda and Safety Director Siwierka

Matter has been tabled.

 

8. The matter of waiving Building Permit Fees for all City of Elyria Projects for 2017 and 2018.

REFERRED BY: Assistant Safety Service Director Brubaker

Mr. Brubaker said that Council passed an Ordinance to waive the Building Permit fees for the Splash Pad and other Parks & Rec projects. And since there are multiple other projects going on in the city, electrical and building projects, they are requesting for Council to Waive the permit fees. By having the City pay the permit fees, it is taking the money and paying it back to ourselves. To avoid conflicts with the state of Ohio, we are still required to pay the 3 percent fee to the state. The Building Official asked if we can have something on record that will waive us from having to pay the 3percent fee to the State when we in fact we haven’t collected anything. The Committee Report states we are asking for 2017 and 2018, but we would like to also include 2019 since there will be multiple projects going into 2019 as well. There is no loss of income to the City.

Moved by Lotko, seconded by Baird to recommend an Ordinance to Waive Building Permit Fees for City Projects for 2017, 2018 and 2019.

MOTION CARRIED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTEN 

9. The matter of waiving Rezoning Fee for rezoning request of City owned property located at

202 Chestnut St.

REFERRED BY: Administrative Legal Counsel Smith

Mr. Brubaker said this goes along with Item Number 8. It is City owned property and Mr. Smith is asking to have the $500 rezoning fee be waived. The city is attempting to rezone the property in order to get the property ready to sell.

Mr. Baird asked the status of this property. Mayor Brinda said that this matter came to Council earlier in the year. Information about the fair market value of the property was discussed in Executive Session. Council gave permission to set a ceiling price for the property and negotiations have followed. The closing is pending shortly. The property needs to be rezoned for the purposes discussed and will go through the public processes, including Planning Commission, etc.

 

Moved by Lotko, seconded by Baird to recommend an Ordinance to Waive the rezoning fee for said property.

MOTION CARRIED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTEN 

12. The matter of amending the 2017 Permanent Appropriations.

There are 3 appropriation changes. There is a full time employee from the Cemetery Dept. that will be retiring which will leave one full time employee in that department. The thought is to bring in a replacement for that person who is retiring and do some training so money needs to be moved to accommodate that. There are extra monies left in the swimming pool that went unused, so that will be a ‘wash’ in the General Fund. Block Grant Fund is moving $10,000 from one department to another to cover a shortage in the Block Grant Administration. In the 2016 half percent temporary income Tax Fund for the Parks and Rec Dept., $7,860,00 needs to be added to operating and maintenance for RITA fees. We already appropriated $30,000 and the fees that RITA charges to collect the tax is distributed between the different functions that the 2016 half percent income tax addresses. In the Capital Needs Department, there is money appropriated for the upgrade of the radio system in the Fire Department. A little has changed since the original amount was appropriated and we need to add $21,000 to that to get it completed. The total cost of that is $61,911.80

Madison moved, Baird seconded to amend the 2017 Permanent Appropriations per discussed.

MOTION CARRIED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTENMr. Madison asked Committee Chair if he anticipated having the discussion of cost savings recommendations that were shared with Council on July 29th for ways of saving money in the General Fund? Mr. Stewart said that it would go to Strategic Planning, but a date hasn’t been set up yet.

Madison moved, Lotko seconded to adjourn the Committee Meeting at 6:40P.M.

MOTION CARRIED 

 

 

 

 

 

Submitted by,

 

Colleen Rosado, Secretary

 

EVENT: Thu. Sep. 28, 2017 - Thu. Sep. 28, 2017

Sept 13, 2017 Utility Meeting Minutes

Posted on September 28, 2017 at 9:47 am

The tape of this meeting is on file in the Council Clerk’s Office

TO THE HONORABLE COUNCIL

CITY OF ELYRIA, OHIO

The Utilities, Safety & Environment Committee held a meeting on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at 6:00 P.M. in Council Chambers.

PRESENT: Committee Chair Mitchell, Members Davis, Tanner, Cerra, Craig ABSENT: None

OTHERS PRESENT: Safety Service Director Siwierka, Wastewater Director Korzan, Assistant Engineer Schneider, Assistant Law Director Office Breunig

BUSINESS OF THE UTILITY, SAFETY & ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE MEETING

1. Approval of the 8/23/2017 meeting minutes.

Cerra moved, Davis seconded to approve the 8/23/2017 meeting minutes.

MOTION CARRIED

2. The matter of the recommending an Ordinance authorizing the Mayor to apply for and accept, if offered, Grant Funding, (TLCI Grant) (Approved at Finance on 9/11/17)

Referred by: Engineer Tim Ujvari

Assistant Engineer, John Schneider was in attendance to explain this matter. He said that this referral is similar to one that was made a year ago. NOACA is providing the possibility of Grant money for the TLCI Implementation. The City’s share for the project would be $60,000 which would come from the Issue 6 Fund. The Grant amount would be for $290,00. The total cost of the project would be $350,000. The limits on the project would be the Downtown Area, 2nd Street; new crosswalks and new lighting. The City was successful in the last 2 applications and hoping to be successful in this one as well.

Davis moved, Cerra seconded to recommend an Ordinance authorizing the Mayor to apply for and accept, if offered, Grant Funding, (TLCI Grant) Emergency clause applies for application deadline.

MOTION CARRIED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTEN3. The matter of authorizing the Mayor to enter into a 5-Year Lease for two (2) new Vactor Model 2115 Combination sewer cleaning trucks.

Referred by WWPC Superintendent Terry Korzan

Mr. Korzan stated the plant has one Vactor Truck that will be returned back to the dealer because the 5-year lease is up. Another Vactor truck is 14 years old and the jet part of the truck works but the vac part of the truck does not. So to keep the compliment of vactor trucks at 4, they are asking for permission to lease 2 new ones from Jack Doheny Companies. The annual lease payment for each truck will be $54,234.44. We would have 2 brand new trucks for 5 years for a total cost of around $250,000 for each truck. The leasing program is working very well. Once the trucks are around 7 years old, maintenance issues start happening to the trucks and it’s best to replace them before the expense of repairs.

Moved by Craig and seconded by Davis to recommend authorizing the Mayor to enter into a 5-Year Lease for two (2) new Vactor Model 2115 Combination sewer cleaning trucks. Money has been appropriated.

MOTION CARRIED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTENMoved by Cerra, seconded by Davis to adjourn the meeting at 6:10 P.M. MOTION CARRIED

Submitted by,

 

Colleen Rosado, Secretary

 

EVENT: Wed. Nov. 1, 2017 - Wed. Nov. 1, 2017

Sept 18, 2017 Strategic Planning Meeting Minutes

Posted on November 1, 2017 at 12:12 pm

Mr. Lotko called the Strategic Planning Meeting to order at 8:13 P.M. on September 18, 2017

Item #1  The matter of the Sanitation Rate Study was Tabled.

Item #2. The matter of an agreement with Republic Services for the removal (at cost) of mixed recycled glass from Elyria Households via Elyria Sanitation Department was Tabled.

Mr. Serazin started the discussion on the topic to put it in perspective. The State of Ohio filed an action against a number of Drug Companies; Purdue, Endotiva, Johnson-n-Johnson, Allergan. The State

accused those companies of downplaying (or not disclosing) the addition risks of some of their medications and as a result of that it has reeked havoc on the Criminal Justice System and the people who had to enforce the Laws in the State of Ohio, Lorain County, Lorain and Elyria. Each had unique damages. In June the Ohio Attorney General filed an action. He alleged 4,000 deaths in the State of Ohio in 2016 as a result of the Opioid Issue. The Attorney can speak for the State costs. But there are also local costs. Lorain filed a case on June 29, 2017 in Lorain County Common Pleas Court. What happens with these litigations are they end upbeing grouped together, though they

  1. MISCELLANEOUS AND UNFINISHED BUSINESS: Continued

aren’t ‘class action suites’, but you have multiple plaintiffs and the same defendants and the cost can be expensive.

Mr. Brian Balser is a local attorney and has dealt with a number of these lawsuits. If Council wants to pursue Mr. Balser can explain and answer questions. Mr. Serazin feels this is something that should be addressed and considered.

Attorney Brian Balser, 5311 Meadow Lane Ct., Sheffield Village Mr. Balser has practiced law in Lorain County for over 30 years, with the last 16-17 years in pharmaceutical litigation. He had defended over 1,800 individuals in the Fen Phen litigation. Mr. Balser represents people in communities on a contingent bases. If no recovery, there is no cost. This litigation will take some time; it’s in its infancy

.

The pharmaceutical companies along with the distributors have made billions of dollars. It goes back to greed and they aren’t concerned about community safety. There are laws in place for community safety. There is much harm that has been done to cities throughout the state, including Elyria. You see it in the papers everyday. 80% of the people who are heroin users have reported they started with a type of Opioid that was prescribed. These companies have gone past having the medicine prescribed just for pain and started marketing it to primary care doctors and were deceptive in terms of what the drug would do and how addictive it was.

Mrs. Mitchell asked if the doctors should bear some responsibility as well, since they’re the ones that write the prescriptions. Mr. Balser said that the doctors rely upon what they are told by the pharmaceutical companies. They rely upon the pharmaceutical companies to give them accurate information. The doctors are being deceived as well as the public.

Mr. Baird feels everyone is in agreement with what Mr. Balser is saying. He wonders where do we go from here? How do we proceed? Mr. Serazin said that he would make a referral to Council and authorize Mr. Balser to take action on our behalf and go from there. It will be similar to the Medical Mutual Case. After more discussion we could get the agreement going and get working on it. Mr. Serazin is satisfied with Mr. Balser’s expertise and the fact that he’s local.

President Lotko thanked Mr. Balser.

Mr. Lotko stated that there is no further business.

Mr. Baird made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Stewart.

MOTION CARRIED

 

Forrest L. Bullocks Michael J. Lotko, III

Clerk of Council President of Council

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EVENT: Thu. Oct. 12, 2017 - Thu. Oct. 12, 2017

Sept 25, 2017 Community Development Meeting Minutes

Posted on October 12, 2017 at 9:03 am

The tape of this meeting is on file in the Council Clerk’s Office

TO THE HONORABLE COUNCIL, CITY OF ELYRIA, OHIO

The Community Development Committee held a meeting on Monday, September 25, 2017 at 6:00 P.M. in Council Chambers.

 

PRESENT: Committee Chair Callahan, Members Mitchell, Jessie, Cerra, Madison

ABSENT: None

OTHERS PRESENT: Mayor Brinda, Safety Service Director Siwierka, Law Director Serazin,

Chief Whitely, WWPC Superintendent Korzan, Engineer Ujvari, Assistant SSD Brubaker,

Assistant Law Director Deery, Assistant Finance Director Farrell

 

BUSINESS OF THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MEETING

1. Approval of the 8/28/17 meeting minutes.

Cerra moved, Mitchell seconded to approve the 8/28/17 meeting minutes.

MOTION CARRIED

2. The matter of a transfer of a Liquor License as submitted by Distinct CLE, LLC, 33467 Lake Road,

Ste 206A, Avon Lake, Ohio 44012 (Permit Class C2).

To be Transferred to Distinct CLE, LLC, DBA District CLE, 830 Taylor Street, Elyria, Ohio 44035 (Permit Class C2)

(w/ SSD, Police Dept., Bldg. Insp., Ward Council).

No objections have been received regarding this matter.

Mrs. Mitchell stated that since there are no objections she made a motion that the city does not request a hearing and Cerra seconded.

MOTION CARRIED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTEN 

 

 

A Motion was made by Cerra, Mitchell seconded to Adjourn Community Development at 6:06

MOTION CARRIED

 

Submitted by,

Colleen Rosado, Secretary

EVENT: Thu. Oct. 12, 2017 - Thu. Oct. 12, 2017

Sept 25, 2017 Finance Meeting Minutes

Posted on October 12, 2017 at 8:59 am

The tape of this meeting is on file in the Council Clerk’s Office.

TO THE HONORABLE COUNCIL, CITY OF ELYRIA, OHIO

The Finance Committee held a meeting on Monday, September 25, 2017 at 6:07 P.M. in Council Chambers.

PRESENT: Committee Chair Stewart, Members Tanner, Madison, Baird, Lotko ABSENT: None

OTHERS PRESENT: Mayor Brinda, Safety Service Director Siwierka, Law Director Serazin, WWPC Superintendent Korzan, Engineer Ujvari, Finance Director Pileski, Police Chief Whitely, Assistant Safety Service Director Brubaker, Communications Superintendent Showalter

 

1. Approval of the 9/11/17 Meeting Minutes.

Baird moved and Madison seconded to approve the minutes of the 9/11/2017 Finance Committee Meeting.

MOTION CARRIED

2. The matter of a request to authorize the Mayor to advertise and enter into an agreement with a consultant for plans and specifications for resurfacing project on Chestnut Ridge Road, from Dewhurst to Highland Park Drive. REFERRED BY: Engineer Tim Ujvari

Mr. Ujvari said that the City was fortunate enough to receive Federal funding through NOACA. The Engineer’s office is currently in the process to get OPWC Funding for our local match. The dollar amount that we are looking at getting for grants is $670,000. The design is necessary and we will need to get services from outside the staff. The dollar amount for Design is estimated at about $75,000.

Mr. Madison asked what the time line is for this project? Mr. Ujvari said if they get OPWC Funding, they are targeting to start the project in July of next year. If we don’t get OPWC Funding then we could start the project sooner. Mr. Madison thanked Mr. Ujvari and his department for being able to manage so many different projects, throughout the city, which seem to be happening all at once.

Baird moved, seconded by Madison to recommend a request to authorize the Mayor to advertise and enter into an agreement with a consultant for design plans and specifications for resurfacing project on Chestnut Ridge Road.

MOTION MOVED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTEN

3. The matter of a request to re-classify City Council Secretary from Administrative Secretary to Secretary III. REFERRED BY: Council Clerk Office

Mr. Stewart stated the matter is being referred by the Council Clerk and Mr. Bullocks was not in attendance. Mr. Stewart asked if the administration wants to weigh in on this matter. Mayor Brinda stated that they were not aware of it. Mr. Stewart stated this matter is Tabled.

4. The matter of a request to amend the 2017 Permanent Appropriations.REFERRED BY: Assistant Finance Director John Farrell

Mr. Farrell said that there are 2 funds that need appropriation changes.

#1: A request was made by Parks & Rec Director Bowman for the Parks Improvement Fund.

Parks donated swimming lessons this summer. $1,990.00 in salary & wages and $338.00 in benefits is for payroll for those swimming lessons. That expense will be transferred over from ‘Special Parks’ Fund.

#2: WWPC Fund Miscellaneous Dept. to transfer $2,074,112 in Capital Outlay which is part of the East Ave. Cost Distribution. When the original budget was done, it was prior to the bids coming out for the project. Now that we have the bids, we will increase that appropriation.

Mr. Baird asked if he understands that what was estimated was correct. Mr. Farrell said that the original amount of this project wasn’t budgeted at all into the WWPC Fund. There were other projects that comprised that one million, five. The $2,074,112 is being added into that line item to cover the East Ave. portion of the Capital Outlay for that project. Mr. Baird clarified that there will be an additional 2 million dollars allocated for that? Mr. Farrell said this money is what is what we are borrowing for from bonds for the project. There is OPWC monies and a portion of the project is coming out of the water fund and storm water fund. Mr. Ujvari wanted to clarify the issue. The East Avenue relief sewer project was accounted for. The money that was initially allocated was out of the Waste Water Fund. And there are other funds that they will be drawing from on that particular project. The project was initially allocated 100% under Waster Water and now it’s being divided up between Waste Water, Storm Water, OPWC and Water Funds.

Baird moved, Madison seconded to amend the 2017 Permanent Appropriations per discussed.

MOTION CARRIED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTEN

 

5. The matter of a review of several Supervisory Salary Ranges for Non-Bargaining Managers, Department Heads and Superintendents. (Tabled 9/11/17)

REFERRED BY: Mayor Brinda and Safety Director Siwierka

Mr. Farrell passed out a salary analysis of the Police Chief salary vs Captain salary and patrolmen salary. It shows gross wages for 2015, 2016 and year to date for 2017. The Chief’s subordinates salaries are based on the salary ordinance being increased. There is 14.5 percent difference between ranks. Each time the EPPA is given an increase the Captains wage gets closer to the Chief’s wages. One of the notary administrative Captains is in Chapter 165 non-bargaining unit and the other 2 notary non- administrative Captains are out of the FOP. All the administrative and non-administrative Captains are Notary which gives them an extra $850.00 per year verses administrative Captain. You can see for this year, the Chief’s salary is $87,603 and the notary administrative Captain is $83,422. The EPPA Contract is a 3-year deal and in the 1st pay period of 2018 they will receive another 2% increase which will bring the Captain’s salary to $85,074.

Mr. Stewart asked the Mayor to reiterate the thought process on this issue. Mayor Brinda started by reminding everyone that on August 25th she put through a detailed referral which was a follow-up referral from the director’s earlier referral. She wants everyone to keep in mind while examining the leadership positions in these departments, that when you look at other communities of the same size as Elyria, the majority has taken the strategy of offering a salary range rather that a set salary. Which gives negotiating power to Mayors and directors that Elyria doesn’t have. When you compare the base of the Police Chief and the Engineer, Parks Director, Economic Director as well, our base is lower than the median. She would like to position us somewhere in the middle so that we can at least be competitive by offering a base salary somewhere in the middle which would calibrate a range that would be negotiating power and to heighten the ceiling of the salary so that we can be competitive. In some cases we’re not even in the middle. With some of those positions, we could require an annual review and provide an annual cost of living increase. It’s a way to be more competitive with these hard to fill positions.

As an example the position for Economic Development Director has been posted since the beginning of this year and the position has been offered but has not been filled because of the salary. We may be in that same dilemma with the Parks Director and Engineer positions that will become available soon. We really should look at making some adjustments as these positions come up, even with the current budget, because the leadership is so important and we don’t want to be a training ground, we need folks with some experience.

Mr. Serazin brought up that these based on the Charter, these are Civil Service positions and there had to be a test. Who makes that decision to set the salary? Mayor Brinda said that is part of the discussion.

Mr. Serazin said that we could take the Chief out of Civil Service and make it a non-classified position and then we can hire whom ever we want and at whatever salary we want. The salary would have to be set and the employee would have to take it. And the people who work for the City already will have longevity built up, that could cause a complication. If we create a range, those positions would have to be taken out of classified civil service.

Mrs. Siwierka said that the law director is correct; we would have to change to paradigm of how we promote and the tests that we give, but if it’s someone that is considering taking the test to be Chief there should be options that the candidate should know of the options. According to the chart, it shows that the subordinates under the chief are making more money because the equalizer of longevity is no longer keeping up because once you get to 20% it stops. We just have to think about a different paradigm of how we pay. If we do it through an appointment and not a test, it’s no different than if we were appointing an Engineer or Parks Director.

Mr. Craig had some questions. 1.) How many increases has the Chief received over the past 10 years?

2.) What are the increases based on? 3.) How often is he evaluated? 4.) What is the current mechanism for giving raises?

Mrs. Siwierka said the Chief gets raises when City Council changes the salaries that go with Chapter 165. Normally, when the other unions have negotiated their contracts, then City Council changes 165. We’re not keeping up with the increases, the ratio is not staying the same. The negotiated settlements are creating a bigger gap. The 2nd page of Mr. Farrell’s hand-out shows the wage increases that were given to Chapter 165; July 2006 = 2%, July 2007 = 2.5%, July 2008 = 3%, Dec. 2011 = 1%, June 2012 = 1.5%. In the Chiefs case the longevity increases have stopped since he is past 20 years, the Captains are also over 20 years.

Mr. Serazin suggested that Council make up a differential that would make up for the lack of base pay that would compensate the Chief for the lack of increase in Chapter 165 base pay which seems to be narrowing the gap. And the Chief would also receive pay raises along with his subordinates, but his rate would be a certain percent higher. Most other cities have separate salaries as applied to the Police and Fire Chiefs. But it has to be a definite figure or a way to calculate that figure based on a differential.

Mrs. Siwierka said that if you took the chief’s salary at $89,000 and added 15% and even with longevity, he will still make less because the others are earning overtime which the chief does not and he will never catch up. For many years the Chapter 165 employees have been given the 1% or 2% increase. What the administration is suggesting is a whole different paradigm, get rid of longevity and have a range that allows for more flexibility depending on qualifications and experience. Many communities that test for the Chief positions have salary ranges.

Mr. Serazin reminded Mrs. Siwierka and Council that we are a Charter City. In the past it’s been simple, the chief has a high salary and almost always has over 20 years of longevity.

You could add a differential on top of the Chief’s salary. The overtime thing is a whole different kind of calculation. They do get comp time and no where on this chart is that calculated. If you’re going to have a salary range, who will make that range, the Administration, Civil Service Commission? It’s arbitrary, if you put someone in there [Chiefs position] and set the salary and you don’t have a test, there could be a lawsuit.

Mayor Brinda said that data can help determine the range, if we collect information from other communities. She said they could do further homework and bring it back to council. It’s pretty clear that other communities have figured it out.

Mr. Korzan, WWPC Plant Superintendent spoke to Council stating that he understands what the Mayor and Director are trying to do with this issue. Mr. Korzan stated that a vast majority of management at the WWPC Plant are at or beyond or close to retirement. When positions are posted and people look at the salaries, they don’t even consider it. He thinks something like a range would be a good idea. So you can at least get people in and be considered. About 95% of the plants management will be gone within the next 3 years, due to retirement. We really want people who know what they’re doing to fill these fields. Mr. Korzan just wanted to make the comment of how he sees it, as a department head.

Chief Whitely spoke and said that years ago they ran into issues of trying to promote through the ranks. They just couldn’t get candidates to even take the tests because their outlook was, that if they promote up, they would go from decent days off and shift pick to the worst days off and working afternoon shift for only a 9% pay raise. The amount of overtime wasn’t available for supervisors as it was for patrolman. That is why the City went to 14.5% between ranks. You have to have supervisors that are quality people. If someone’s sole goal is to promote up so they can say they are at that rank, that is more of an ego driven person as opposed to a good supervisor. We now get more senior people to take the test with the 14.5% increases. Six people just passed the sergeants test that was recently given. There is $2,600 difference in salary between the chief and the captain and there is $2,100 in bonus pay that the Chief doesn’t. Captains get extra weeks vacation, extra holiday, different bereavement leave package, etc. So most employees that are ranked at a Captain, would not want to even consider taking the Chief’s test. Chief Whitely said that he approached the Director to say that he wants the same benefits and same rate differential that the Captains get. Something has to be done, he said he could leave anytime, eventually he’ll retire and we need to be able to replace that position with someone qualified.

Mr. Baird said this is an unfortunate situation that we’ve gotten ourselves into, which has developed over the years. He is all for paying the top people the top pay. Good leadership goes down through the ranks. The biggest problem is the General Fund. Council needs more information in order to move forward.

Mr. Stewart said council needs to gather more information from the Law Director’s office, the Administration and Finance Director and come back to the Finance Committee and ultimately onto full Council. Mr. Stewart asked for the administration to provide the information of other communities that have enacted what was proposed and discussed here today.

Mr. Madison asked if it makes sense for us to have the conversation on cost savings before we discuss the increases across the board. The Police Chief and all the employees work very hard and are deserving. The question is, how do we address the financial situation and how do we prepare for it. Does it make sense for us to tackle the cost savings and understand where the budget is going to line up before we dive into moving forward with salaries. He asked when will the budget and cost savings recommendation process begin? Mr. Stewart said that discussion is on the horizon.

Mayor Brinda did say that the administration submitted a list of cost saving items that were thoughts for discussion. She said they are open for discussion at any time. The budgeting process for 2018 will begin earlier than last year. We do need to look at as many cost saving measures as we possibly can.

Mr. Madison asked for the docket of the grants that we’ve received, applied for, and any potential rebates that have come in within this last fiscal year that would help guide the budget conversation.

Mr. Lotko said that the plan is to have the budget discussion in October, after the sanitation rate discussion. The salary matter will go into pending items and back on the agenda at a later date.

6. The Matter of Ratifying and Authorizing the Mayor to sign an agreement with AFSCME #277.

Mrs. Siwierka said that everyone should have received a copy of the AFSCME agreement that has been tentatively settled with that union. Also, handed out was a 3 page memo that outlines 13 areas that are of importance. Minimum pay has been reduced from 4 hours to 3 hours, minimum was already illuminated in Chapter 165. The probationary period has been changed from 60 days to 90 days. Also, we have tightened the sick leave abuse. Rest periods are 15 minutes, which doesn’t include travel time to their break. Equalization of overtime, records of discipline, overtime lists. Then it came down to the wages; 2 and a half percent for 2017 & 2018, 2 and a half percent for 2018 & 2019 and a wage re-opener for 2019 & 2020. This is a 3-year agreement. The union voted; 54 for and 2 against.

Baird moved, Madison seconded to recommend the approval to authorize the Mayor to sign the agreement with AFSCME #277 and the City of Elyria.

MOTION CARRIED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTEN

 

7. The Matter of Amending the Salary Ordinance.

Mr. Farrell said that this will incorporate the 2 and a half percent increase which will be retroactive to September 1, 2017.

Baird moved, Madison seconded to recommend the approval of an Ordinance to Amend Ordinance #2016-6, the Salary Ordinance to adjust the wages for AFSCME #277.

MOTION CARRIED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTEN

Baird moved, Lotko seconded to adjourn the Committee Meeting at 7:09 P.M.

MOTION CARRIED

 

Submitted by,

Colleen Rosado, Secretary

 

EVENT: Wed. Nov. 1, 2017 - Wed. Nov. 1, 2017

Sept 27, 2017 Utility Meeting Minutes

Posted on November 1, 2017 at 10:25 am

The tape of this meeting is on file in the Council Clerk’s Office

TO THE HONORABLE COUNCIL

CITY OF ELYRIA, OHIO

The Utilities, Safety & Environment Committee held a meeting on Wednesday,

September 27, 2017 at 6:00 P.M. in Council Chambers.

PRESENT: Committee Chair Mitchell, Members Davis, Tanner, Cerra, Craig ABSENT: None

OTHERS PRESENT: City Engineer Ujvari, Assistant Law Director Breunig

BUSINESS OF THE UTILITY, SAFETY & ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE MEETING

1. Approval of the 9/13/2017 meeting minutes.

Cerra moved, Davis seconded to approve the 9/13/2017 meeting minutes.

MOTION CARRIED

 

2. The matter of a request to authorize the Mayor to advertise and enter into an agreement with a consultant for plans and specifications for resurfacing project on Chestnut Ridge Road, from Dewhurst to Highland Park Drive. [approved at Finance Committee on 9/25]

REFERRED BY: Engineer Tim Ujvari

Mr. Ujvari said the funding that the City is eligible for is Federal Funding. It will require a 20% match. The Engineer’s office submitted an application for the local share match through OPWC. We won’t know if we will receive the funds until early November. They had a scope meeting with ODOT. They need to move forward with the scope and the beginning of the design. The design is estimated at a cost of $75,000 and he is requesting that this be funded through the Issue 6 funds.

Cerra moved, Davis seconded to recommend authorizing the Mayor to enter into an agreement with a consultant to prepare plans and specs for the resurfacing project of Chestnut Ridge Road from Dewhurst to Highland Park Drive at a cost of $75,000.

MOTION CARRIED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTEN 

3. The matter of a request for a resolution to pursue a noise impact study and noise mitigation for residents living adjacent to the Ohio Turnpike.

REFERRED BY: 4th Ward Council, Mark Craig

Mr. Craig stated that a Resolution was passed by Council, [R2016-15] to pursue a noise impact study to be paid for by the City or the Turnpike. Due to the impact of the Ohio Turnpike, Route 57 improvements, increased speed limits and clearing from the construction areas, there has no progress made. Mr. Craig said he wanted to re-refer it so that they could get an update on the issue. Mr. Craig wanted to see if there is further action that can be taken on this impact study.

Mr. Ujvari said that there are 2 bureaucratic bodies that the City has to deal with on this issue; The Ohio Turnpike and ODOT. Mr. Ujvari has looked into the funding for such a project. The response has been, that there is no funding. Two years ago when he applied for two million dollars for the East Side Sewer Relief for under the Turnpike, which would be an eligible project, but we were turned down on that.

 

At this point there is no funding available for any noise walls or for that matter for the sanitary sewer going under the turnpike. Mr. Ujvari asked through a District 3 Representative as to whether the City can get a survey and he is pursuing that at this time. The noise walls that are currently being constructed are in a different ODOT District then us, we are in ODOT District 3. It doesn’t appear that District 3 is as fluent in noise studies as District 12, which includes Cuyahoga County. Mr. Ujvari stated that he could have a formalized report by early November to give the committee an update.

Mr. Craig asked for a report of all the formal documented efforts that we’ve taken. There are other channels that we can pursue; we could speak to State Representatives, petition the Governor’s Office. If we don’t take action we won’t get anywhere. Informal communications are one thing, formal communications, where people are forced to respond is totally another thing. Mr. Craig is fine with tabling this issue until Engineer Ujvari has more information. He added that the issue is not an easy task. Some of the noise walls currently being constructed in Cuyahoga County have been in the works for many years. The cost is high, at one time it was about a million dollars a mile. Mr. Craig said it’s easy to have informal conversations and get discouraged or to be told to not bother to pursue this because you aren’t going to get anywhere. But we do need to continue to pursue formal efforts. Mr. Craig would like to table it to the next meeting and get the report on at least the noise mitigation study. We need to gather evidence to prove the need.

Mrs. Mitchell feels that the residents at least deserve the City trying. If ODOT says no and the Turnpike says no, there are other ways to put pressure on them.

This matter will be tabled until the meeting on October 25th.

 

Mr. Craig wanted to clarify the list of streets that was passed out by Mr. Ujvari. Mr. Ujvari said the street list everyone received this evening is the list from the end of 2016 and therefore many streets that were ranked a ‘2′ and most likely ranked a ‘1′ now. That list will be updated after this years program starts to wrap up. The streets that were finished this year have been removed from that list. He is hoping that many of those ranked as ‘2′ can go to ‘1′ which will make them priorities for next year’s list.

Craig moved, seconded by Cerra to adjourn the meeting at 6:15 P.M. MOTION CARRIED

Submitted by,

 

 

Colleen Rosado, Secretary

 

EVENT: Wed. Nov. 1, 2017 - Wed. Nov. 1, 2017

Sept 5, 2017 Finance Meeting Minutes (prior to Council Meeting)

Posted on November 1, 2017 at 9:43 am

The tape of this meeting is on file in the Council Clerk’s Office.

 

TO THE HONORABLE COUNCIL, CITY OF ELYRIA, OHIO

The Finance Committee held a meeting prior to The Council Meeting on

Monday, September 5, 2017 at 6:50 P.M. in Council Chambers.

Finance

PRESENT: Committee Chair Stewart, Members Madison, Baird, Lotko, Tanner

ABSENT: None

OTHERS PRESENT: Mayor Brinda, Safety Service Director Siwierka, CD Director A. Scott,

Law Director Serazin, WWPC Superintendent Korzan, Utility Superintendent Conner, Engineer Ujvari, Finance Director Pileski, Assistant Finance Director Farrell, Assistant Safety Service Director,

HR Director Dillinger, Fire Chief Benton, Police Chief Whitely

Other Council Members, Callahan, Cerra, Craig, Jessie, Mitchell, Davis, Council Clerk Bullocks,

 

 

BUSINESS OF THE FINANCE MEETING

1. The matter of a change order for the 2017 Concrete Street Improvement.

REFERRED BY: Engr. Ujvari

Lotko moved and Madison seconded to recommend an Ordinance to amend Ordinance 2017-22 for a Change Order for the Concrete Street Improvement Project. The street list for this project is: Fairmount, Carol Ln., Ashland Ave., Lorain Blvd. Additional funds are not needed, the established amount will not be exceeded.

MOTION CARRIED COMMITTEE REPORT WRITTEN  

 

 

 

Baird moved, Lotko seconded to adjourn the Finance meeting.

MOTION CARRIED

 

Submitted by,

 

Colleen Rosado, Secretary