UNOFFICIAL notes of 9/17/18 City Council Meeting UNOFFICIAL

Started by ellen on Tuesday, September 18 2018, 08:07 am ·

The WP City Council Meeting was held on 9/17/2018, starting at 7pm. The meeting, as always, started with the Pledge of Allegiance. The Council members read the minutes from the last meeting. There was one correction to be made. The previous meeting’s minutes were accepted with the correction.

Next was the Treasurer’s Report for August. The revenues were $87,824.41 in the general fund and $1593.03 in the road fund, for a total of $89,417.44 in revenue. The expenses were $3863.87 operations, $3561 beautification, $7717.69 public safety, $236.24 communications, $4421.20 police expenses (this included Chief Heaton’s final salary), and 0 road fund, for a total of $19,800 in expenses. The majority of the revenue was derived from property taxes. The discount period for paying taxes ended on August 31. Out of 449 parcels, only 27 have not yet paid taxes.

The City Clerk gave her report. There were no variance requests.

Resident Comments: Based on a concern expressed by a citizen at the last meeting, George Langford moved to increase the time for resident comments from 3 minutes to 5 minutes. The mayor stated that this was not on the agenda, and that 3 minutes was the standard time limit.
Jim Reh has lived here 32 years and has been on the Code Enforcement Board for 12 years. He loves WP and he does not like the negativity on social media. He hopes that everyone will be friendly and not be Negative Nellies.
Daniel Foos has lived here 34 years. He loves the neighborhood. He has been reading a lot of negativity. He feels that someone has an agenda or a vendetta, and that they are spreading it around the city.
Kim Horn stated that she is probably the one they are talking about, and she does have an agenda, which is to stop people from speeding and running stop signs. She stated that she has been concerned about this for at least six years and, while her children are now grown, she has been working to “protect your children.” She stated that everything she posts on social media, she has also communicated privately to City Council members.
Greg Huettig stated that the drainpipes need to have covers. The mayor said that he would address this with MSD.

Old Business-Open City Council Seat. The mayor asked if there were any nominations by Council members. George Langford nominated Ellen White. The nomination was seconded, and the Council voted. Ellen White was appointed as the interim Council member. (That’s me).

New Business-No new business was discussed.

Mayor’s Report. Stiver’s Road sinkhole: There appears to be a sinkhole forming in the 600 block of Stivers. There was one there previously, which MSD repaired. The new one is about 5 houses down from the old one. MSD came and put a plate on it. MSD did a study and a dye test and determined that it was not caused by their pipes (but the mayor thinks that it was). The mayor next turned it in to the Metro Public Works Department, but they only deal with Metro, not satellite cities. The mayor contacted Angela Leet’s office. MSD will come and re-evaluate it. The mayor said that the sinkhole hasn’t grown much, but he believes that, with continued rain, the sinkhole will continue to grow. The mayor contacted several engineering firms, but he only found one which deals with this situation. They will evaluate and make recommendations. The mayor said this needs to be addressed before it becomes a major issue. The mayor said that it should not cost more than $500 to have the engineering firm do its evaluation. The Council passed a motion to have the engineering evaluation performed, up to a cost of $500. The mayor said that he will contact the engineering firm immediately.
City Hall maintenance: The wall over the fireplace seems to be leaking, and the mayor has also observed places in the basement where water has entered. He thinks it is probably the chimney flashing. He said that this needs to be evaluation and estimates, and should be done before winter, to avoid having frozen water in the building.
Orchid Hill fence: At the last meeting, it was discussed that the date of construction of the fence needed to be determined. This has not yet been done. The mayor and the city’s attorney both made notes to find out when the fence was built.
Greg Claypool said that, where the tree fell down, there is a pile of debris on the other side of the fence, and it looks terrible. He asked if we were waiting for the city or state to fix it. The mayor said that the city cleaned up some of it that was on the sidewalk. Some of it was on an AT&T line, so they fixed some of it. It is on city property now, but it will be dealt with after the fence is fixed.
Alicent Road: According to the mayor, the “problem house” is under contract to be sold, so “the issue may go away.”
Police Chief Search Update: The mayor calls this “phase 2” of the police chief search. There were 12 inquiries into the position: 4 did not apply, 3 started the process but did not complete it, there were 4 interviews, and 2 took other positions. There are 3 final candidates who have been interviewed. The mayor hopes to have an appointee to present to the Council who would begin working by the first of next month. There will be a special meeting, possibly next week. Luckily, the mayor said, there have been no major issues while we have been without a police force. George Langford asked about contracting with the Graymoor-Devondale police in the interim, but the mayor said that, by the time that process would be completed, a new police officer will have already been appointed here. The mayor said that, if we would have gone with the Graymoor-Devondale option as proposed at the last meeting, it would have increased the city’s annual budget by $31,000. Further, WP would give up oversight as to who patrols our city, and there would be no community involvement. Those are the main reasons that we did not go with Graymoor-Devondale, so that is why they proceeded with replacing our police chief. The three candidates have different ideas about the police force. One would continue as Bob did, being the sole officer. Another would have a reserve officer who would patrol when the chief was not available. The other would have two part-time officers. The mayor said that each of the finalists is committed to the job if it is offered. George Langford has been on the Council since 2004. He said that the police officer used to work 120 hours per month, but now it is 160 hours, and he asked about the increase in hours, especially since we have no businesses. He wanted to know where the crime was happening to justify the increase in hours. The mayor said that a previous City Council had approved the increase in hours and that the most effective deterrent against crime is just to have the presence of the police car in the neighborhood.

Council Focus:
City Hall. Greg Claypool reported that the blinds were replaced and that the flush valve in the bathroom has been fixed.
Streets and Signs. Tom Nunn was not present. The mayor reported that a company will give him an estimate on the streets. He said we will need to re-pave some streets by next year.
Fences and Permits. Doug Watson reported that two people had requested fence permits. He reviewed their plans, they conformed to code, so the permits would be issued. There is a house on Stivers with a pool, so it needs a fence. They will check with Metro to see what its rules are regarding fences around pools.
Drainage/Block Watch: George Langford reported that he spoke with the owner of Woodlawn Center regarding a resident’s concerns about trees along Stivers by the retention basin. He spoke to LMPD’s 5th district regarding a search warrant which was executed in the city. There is a drainage issue at Schuwey and Perryman. The next block watch meeting is October 4 at 7pm. Brian Weinberg is the new block watch captain on Perryman. Mr. Langford is looking for two new block watch captains.
Community Activity: Shannon Seidt stated that she has messages from multiple neighbors. One family wants to put a “kids at play” sign (like those posted in city entryways) in their front yard. She checked on the cost, and it would be $560 installed. She said there are multiple places in the city that need those signs. She wants to determine where they are needed. She wants to start using the speed tracking device so that, on day 1, the new police officer will have a report showing where people are speeding in the city. She suggested that 25mph may be too fast on Green Meadow, and thinks maybe the speed limit there should be reduced to 15mph. The mayor said that a resident should not have to pay for a sign, and that the city would have to pay for it. He wants to determine the pockets where young children play. Shannon said that, if we do not have a cop within two weeks, we should go ahead and start using the speed tracking sign. The mayor said that, barring something unforeseen between now and next week, we will have a police officer in place by October 1. The mayor said that we need to determine the locations of where children live. Shannon said that there is a strong community of parents in the neighborhood, so that should be easy. The mayor said that a prior City Council had voted to have all signs uniform within the city (so that’s why we have those black/gold signs).
Shannon stated that she has been posting on Next Door, and that she will continue to do so as appropriate. Greg Claypool stated that anything she posts on social media should also be posted on the WP official website. Shannon said that she already does that, but actually in reverse, as she usually posts on WP first, and then on Next Door.

The meeting adjourned at approximately 7:45pm.

After the meeting, Ellen White was sworn in by city attorney Matt Carey as the interim councilperson.

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