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CITY OF MAYFIELD HEIGHTS

SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES

July 23, 2007

 

 

The special meeting of Council was called to order at 7:05 P.M. by Council President Michael Ballistrea.

 

ROLL CALL: PRESENT: Mr. Michael Ballistrea, Mrs. Donna Finney,

Mr. Ronald Kobunski, Mr. Sam Mercurio,

Mr. David Sasak, Mrs. Diane Snider,

Mr. Howard Sonenstein.

ABSENT: None.

 

 

Also present were Mayor Gregory Costabile, Mr. Leonard Carr, Mr. Robert Tribby and Miss Lisa Benedetti.

 

 

The Pledge of Allegiance was said.

 

 

Mr. Mercurio moved to suspend reading of the Council minutes of June 25, 2007, and approve as written, seconded by Mrs. Snider. All in favor, motion carried. Minutes approved.

 

 

Mr. Sonenstein, seconded by Mr. Kobunski, moved to hold an executive session for litigation purposes after the regular business. Roll Call on motion as stated: AYES: Finney, Mercurio, Sasak, Kobunski, Sonenstein, Snider, Ballistrea. NAYS: None. Motion carried.

 

 

Mr. Ballistrea congratulated the Mayor and the Recreation Department on a very nice golf outing.

 

 

Mr. Ballistrea stated that he had some conversation with Mr. Ottino of the new Town Square shopping plaza. Mr. Ottino asked that it be reported that there would be landscaping in the rear of the development and a very nice wall around the perimeter. He will also be meeting with Public Sector Solutions. There will be an ice cream store with outdoor seating. He is hoping to complete the construction by November.

 

 

Mr. Ballistrea stated he would allow a public portion this evening even though it is a special meeting, if Council approves it. Mr. Kobunski, seconded by Mr. Sonenstein, moved to allow a public portion. All in favor, motion carried.

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PUBLIC COMMENT:

 

Bernadette Hall, Shaker Heights, stated she has been selling fried dough at the home days every year. When she asked for a contract this year, she was told that the City wanted more residents and businesses in the City to have the opportunity to participate in the event. She bought a new fryer that she will be able to use at Unity Days as well as the other carnivals/fairs she attends throughout the year. She does not understand why she cannot participate again this year, especially since she has spent a lot of money on the new equipment. She spoke with Recreation Director Sean Ward. Mayor Costabile stated that her food has been enjoyed in past years and what she was told was correct in that the City wants to continue to reach out to businesses located in the City and residents to offer opportunities with Unity Days. He suggested that she schedule a meeting with him and Mr. Ward to discuss this issue further. There are a number of groups and businesses that give to the City. It was the general idea that due to limited space and with the Mayfield Road construction project, that the City was hoping to give residents and City groups the opportunity to participate. Ms. Hall said she would call his office.

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RESOLUTION NO. 2007-37: "A Resolution accepting a certain bid for cars (Marshall Ford)." Mr. Carr read the resolution by title only. Mrs. Finney moved for suspension of the rules, seconded by Mr. Mercurio. Roll Call on motion as stated: AYES: Sonenstein, Mercurio, Snider, Kobunski, Sasak, Finney, Ballistrea. NAYS: None. Motion carried. Mrs. Snider moved for adoption, seconded by Mrs. Finney. Roll Call on motion as stated: AYES: Snider, Finney, Sasak, Mercurio, Sonenstein, Kobunski, Ballistrea. NAYS: None. Motion carried. The resolution is adopted.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 2007-38: "A Resolution accepting a certain bid for cars (Liberty Ford Solon)." Mr. Carr read the resolution by title only. Mrs. Finney moved for suspension of the rules, seconded by Mr. Mercurio. Roll Call on motion as stated: AYES: Snider, Finney, Sasak, Mercurio, Sonenstein, Kobunski, Ballistrea. NAYS: None. Motion carried. Mr. Mercurio moved for adoption, seconded by Mr. Kobunski. Roll Call on motion as stated: AYES: Mercurio, Sasak, Kobunski, Snider, Finney, Sonenstein, Ballistrea. NAYS: None. Motion carried. The resolution is adopted.

 

 

RESOLUTION NO. 2007-39: "A Resolution authorizing a contract between the City of Mayfield Heights and Public Sector Solutions for the engagement of Public Sector Solutions as an economic development consultant for a one year period." Mr. Carr read the resolution by title only. Mr. Mercurio moved for suspension of the rules, seconded by Mrs. Finney. Roll Call on motion as stated: AYES: Kobunski, Snider, Sonenstein, Mercurio, Finney, Sasak, Ballistrea. NAYS: None. Motion carried. Mr. Mercurio moved for adoption, seconded by Mr. Kobunski. Mr. Ballistrea commented that this was recommended by the Finance Committee. It is a 2.7% increase from last year. Mr. Mercurio stated that the company has done a nice job. Mayor Costabile explained that the terms and conditions are the same except for the amount which is $1500 more. He encouraged Council to vote for the contract so the City gets the benefits of economic development.

          Brian Lenahan of Public Sector Solutions was asked to step forward. Mr. Sonenstein remarked that he was a little disappointed in the last report, which was one page. He inquired again about the company’s involvement with Park Ohio moving to the City. Mr. Lenahan replied that at the Mayor’s request, they met with the company when it was discovered they were looking at several cities. They spoke with Park Ohio about incentives, etc. available in the City. Mr. Sonenstein asked if PSS went out and got the company. Mayor Costaible stated that this questioning is redundant and had been answered in prior meetings as the minutes would attest. PSS knows when companies are in the market. There was general understanding that Park Ohio was looking at different communities. PSS then got involved by starting a dialog about the benefits of the City. Mr. Sonenstein then asked where the increase in the rate is justified. Jane Campbell of PSS stated that PSS faces the same increases as any other business in terms of salary increases, utilities and the cost of doing business. PSS chose a percentage that was just under what was given to the City’s employees.

       Mrs. Finney commented that she originally was not in favor of this contract, but voted for it. She just does not feel the money spent is justified. Ms. Campbell replied that it is a combination of economic development services that would not otherwise be available. They work with the Mayor and his staff. There are approximately 80 people available at Colliers who are involved in real estate. This information gives PSS the opportunity to start planning for possibilities whether someone is moving in or out and space is available. Because PSS represents Mayfield Heights, the City is always out front. She reminded Council that any document from PSS to Council is a public record, so they have to be careful with what is put in it in order not to give away information on negotiations and the confidentiality of the business. PSS first started with the corporate park area as its focus. The larger shopping plazas will be next. Mrs. Finney asked if their involvement is a redundancy with the larger "for lease/sale" signs the City now allows in the corporate parks. Ms. Campbell replied that PSS puts the interest of the City first. The standard is deals between the buyers and sellers without much thought for the city where the property is located. PSS is not the broker, they are economic development, so they can work across the brokerages in the interest of Mayfield Heights. Mr. Sonenstein asked for clarification that what Ms. Campbell is saying is that the property owners are not doing their best. Ms. Campbell replied that the issue is that the function of economic development is different than a broker’s function. An example is if there is a long term lease and a company leaves, the owners still get the money, but the city does not get the income tax. PSS is looking for quality and at the whole picture, not just one piece.

     Mayor Costabile commented that there may be some confusion on the part of Mrs. Finney and Mr. Sonenstein. PSS is not a "real estate broker" for Mayfield Heights, but instead advises how the City handles business communication and assists the city with economic development ideas and plans for the future so as to further equip the City with the necessary tools to compete in the market and maintain fiscal responsibility. The stronger the City is from an economic standpoint the greater ability it has to provide for its residents and business community. The reports are difficult to quantify, but people need to look at the results. Other cities spend much more on economic development, as was stated during the discussions last year when he proposed hiring PSS. Ms. Campbell added that PSS works with the City on developing economic opportunities that a broker would not have. PSS has the expertise. Mr. Sonenstein stated he would like to see more detail with the amount of money the City is spending. He feels the residents would also. Mr. Mercurio stated that when this renewal was discussed at the Finance Committee meeting, it was felt that Public Sector Solutions gives the City the edge and he feels it is money well spent. Although Mr. Sonnestein and Ms. Finney were present at the Finance Committee meeting, no questions or concerns were raised by them or the members of the Committee at that time. Roll Call on motion as stated: AYES: Finney, Mercurio, Sasak, Kobunski, Sonenstein, Snider, Ballistrea. NAYS: None. Motion carried. The resolution is adopted.

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ORDINANCE NO. 2007-32: "An Ordinance amending Chapter 121, Section 121.02, of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Mayfield Heights, pertaining to Council." Mr. Carr read the ordinance by title only. Mrs. Finney moved for suspension of the rules, seconded by Mr. Mercurio. Roll Call on motion as stated: AYES: Sonenstein, Mercurio, Snider, Kobunski, Sasak, Finney, Ballistrea. NAYS: None. Motion carried. Mr. Sasak moved for adoption, seconded by Mr. Kobunski. Mr. Sonenstein stated that he supports all the proposed changes, except for the limitation on the public portion in committee meetings. Mr. Ballistrea explained that the public may be allowed to speak at the discretion of the Committee Chairman. At the discretion of the Chair it is at his or her discretion to maintain order and decorum and if that means to forego a public portion that then he or she must have the ability to do so. Mr. Kobunski commented that he does not feel that would stop the public from being able to speak about an issue in other venues. Mrs. Finney stated it is giving one person that power and who knows what the future holds. Mr. Sonenstein added that if it has not been broken, then why change it. Roll Call on motion as stated: AYES: Snider, Sasak, Mercurio, Sonenstein, Kobunski, Ballistrea. NAYS: Finney, Sonenstein. Vote 5-2. Motion carried. The ordinance is adopted.

 

 

ORDINANCE NO. 2007-33: "An Ordinance amending Ordinance No. 2007-23 the appropriation expenditures of the City of Mayfield Heights, State of Ohio, for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2007." Mr. Carr read the ordinance by title only. Mr. Sasak moved for suspension of the rules, seconded by Mrs. Snider. Roll Call on motion as stated: AYES: Sasak, Kobunski, Finney, Sonenstein, Mercurio, Snider, Ballistrea. NAYS: None. Motion carried. Mrs. Finney moved for adoption, seconded by Mr. Sonenstein. Mr. Ballistrea explained this was an amendment to the budget with the money coming from the Law Enforcement Trust Fund. Roll Call on motion as stated: AYES: Mercurio, Sasak, Kobunski, Snider, Finney, Sonenstein, Ballistrea. NAYS: None. Motion carried. The ordinance is adopted.

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Mr. Ballistrea turned the meeting over to Council President Pro Tem Mercurio, as he would be abstaining from discussion and voting on the matter as he is employed by the hospital. Mr. Mercurio was then presiding over the meeting.

 

 

Mrs. Finney, seconded by Mr. Sonenstein, moved to confirm the decision of the Planning Commission approving preliminary/final approval to widen the existing SOM Center Road access drive one additional 12’ lane on a temporary basis. Mrs. Finney asked how temporary this would be. It seemed to be open ended. Mr. Sasak reported that it was discussed at the Planning Commission meeting that this would be in place until the Mayfield Road project was completed. Mr. Sonenstein suggested an amendment with perhaps the removal of the lane 30 days after the road project completion.

     Mr. Sonenstein and Mr. Kobunski moved to allow the applicant to speak. All in favor, motion carried.

Jim Senick of Hillcrest Hospital thanked the City for allowing this addition to help alleviate the traffic with the Mayfield Road construction. When the Mayfield Road project is finishing, then the hospital would be starting its own construction and would be rerouting traffic, so he does not know when the driveway would not be needed. It is the intent of the hospital to eliminate this lane.

     Mike McAndrews of Knight and Stolar showed a drawing of the existing drive and the proposal. The extra lane would allow for two exit lanes, a left and right turn, so there would not be a back up. One recommendation made at the Planning Commission meeting was to have directional arrows so people would not go straight onto Ridgeview. Asphalt would be used to match the existing pavement. Mr. Kobunski stated that he lives behind that area and gets a lot of questions from residents in the area about the hospital driveway. It keeps getting bigger and he also would like to see a time limit set. He added that the hospital is appreciated. Mr. Sonenstein stated that he likes the proposal, but would also like a time limit. The hospital could always come back to the City if there is a need. Mayor Costabile stated that there was discussion at the Planning Commission meeting with regards to the future expansion, which may help Council, if they were shown these plans. Mr. Senick explained that the new drive would line up with the Wal-Mart drive on SOM Center. The current drive would then be eliminated. Mr. Sonenstein stated he would still like a time limit in place. Mayor Costabile wondered if the driveway could be eliminated in that short of a time frame. This may not be a reasonable time frame and asked the applicant to comment. The other suggestion was that the hospital could come back to the Planning Commission for an extension or a change. Mr. Senick stated he would ask for 60 days depending on weather conditions.

     Mr. Kobunski asked if there was a possibility of another garage being constructed. Mr. Senick replied that more decks may be added to the current garages, but there are no plans for an additional garage at this point.

     Mr. Sonenstein, seconded by Mrs. Finney, moved to amend the motion with language suggested by Mr. Carr to read:

"To confirm the decision of the Planning Commission approving preliminary/final approval to widen the existing SOM Center Road access drive one additional 12’ lane on a temporary basis, which shall terminate no later than 60 days following the completion of the Mayfield Road project work as defined by the City of Mayfield Heights’ Engineer."

     All in favor of the amendment, motion carried. All in favor of the original motion as amended, motion carried.

 

 

Mr. Mercurio turned the meeting back over to Council President Ballistrea.

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Mr. Sonenstein, seconded by Mrs. Snider, moved to advertise for rock salt bids. All in favor, motion carried.

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Mr. Mercurio, seconded by Mrs. Snider, moved to authorize the preparation of specifications and advertising for bids for Police Digital In-Car Video Systems. Mr. Mercurio stated this would update the Police equipment. Mr. Tribby added that the money would come from the Law Enforcement Trust Fund. All in favor, motion carried.

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Mr. Sonenstein, seconded by Mr. Kobunski, moved to authorize the preparation of specifications and advertising for bids for a jail digital video recorder system and camera upgrade to color. Mayor Costabile explained that this would not only have color, but also audio and more flexibility with regard to the ability to move instead of being stationary as it is the current situation. Mrs. Finney asked if anything further was found out about putting these types of cameras in the park. Mayor Costaible replied that the issue was more of if the system could be expanded in the future and it can. All in favor, motion carried.

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Mr. Kobunski, seconded by Mr. Sonenstein, moved to authorize the preparation of specifications and advertising for bids to demolish an abandoned gas station at 5855 Mayfield Road. Mayor Costabile explained that this area initially received several variances for the new owner. All the safety issues have been taken care of. Conversations have been held with the owner to do something with this building, because it is an eyesore. The owner keeps missing deadlines and understands that the City needs to move forward. Ultimately the cost of demolition would be borne by the owner. The Mayor believes that a new building will be built to enhance that area. Mr. Ballistrea inquired if the tanks were still underground. The Mayor said no, they have been removed. All in favor, motion carried.

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Mr. Mercurio, seconded by Mrs. Finney, moved to authorize the Mayor to extend the contract with TC3 on a month-to-month basis pending the negotiation of a new contract. Mr. Ballistrea stated there would be some increases, which are unknown at this time. Mr. Costabile stated that he would work with them to make sure the needs fit the City. Last year the City received credit after negotiating and was still able to meet the needs of the residents. There will be a new van soon and the City would only be responsible for 10% of the cost. Mr. Sonenstein commented that it should be noted that there would be no interruption in the service. All in favor, motion carried.

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There being no further business to come before Council, Mr. Ballistrea recessed the meeting at 8:12 P.M. Council went into executive session at 8:20 P.M. for litigation purposes, and reconvened at 8:52 P.M.

 

 

There being no further business to come before Council, Mr. Ballistrea adjourned the meeting at 8:53 P.M.

 

 

Approved:                                                                           Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Michael Ballistrea                                                              Lisa A. Benedetti, MMC

Council President                                                              Deputy Clerk of Council