UNOFFICIAL-city council meeting notes 11/19/18-UNOFFICIAL-posted at the request of WP citizens

Started by ellen on Monday, December 03 2018, 02:07 pm ·

Woodlawn Park City Council Meeting Notes 11/19/2018

The Woodlawn Park City Council meeting was held on November 19, 2018. The meeting was opened with the Pledge of Allegiance. Council members read the proposed Minutes from the 10/15 Council meeting. There were a few corrections to be made, which were imparted to the City Clerk, and the Minutes, with revisions, were approved. Next was the Treasurer’s Report. Total revenues for October were $5146.60. Total expenses were $14,313.82. There are still 21 parcels which had not paid their property tax by the date of this meeting. The Treasurer’s Report was approved. Next was the City Clerk Report, which discussed hits to the website.

The police chief gave the Police Report: During the month of October, he continued purging old records. He is in the process of updating the WP police department. He has entered into a user agreement with KY OPS, and he is able to use the LMPD property room to store evidence. He has, to date, acquired over $10,000 worth of equipment for the WP police department, all free of charge; this includes an in-car radio, a radar unit, and a taser. He is looking into another police car to use as a backup, in case the regular police car is wrecked or otherwise out of service. He stated that another police agency may donate a fully-equipped car. The chief wants to reflect on that idea for a while longer before he decides whether or not to proceed. The radar gun has been calibrated. He is perusing other agencies’ standard operating procedure manuals, which he will use as a guideline for creating the WP police department’s own SOP manual. He pulled six months of run reports from LMPD to gauge the presence of crime in WP. Over the six months, there were five reports from WP. One was a domestic situation, which was closed out. Another involved forgery of a check. There was a juvenile with a gun at Westport/Walser; the same individual had stolen some welders.

The chief installed the speeding sign, and he downloaded the data from the reports. He likes the data on the computer, but the software is not user-friendly as, when you try to print the data, it just prints out spreadsheets with a bunch of random numbers and words. According to the data, while the speed sign was installed at Walser/Alicent Court, there were 5799 incoming vehicles (about 187 per day) and 7697 outgoing vehicles (about 247 per day). According to the data, 96% of the incoming cars were traveling at less than 25mph; under 3% were coming in at 26-30mph; and less than ½ percent were coming in at 31-35mph. Outgoing cars had 85% compliance with the speed limit; under 12% were going 26-30mph; and less than 3% were going 31-35mph. The chief stated that he does not believe that speeding is a problem on Walser at this time.

The chief stated that, over the course of the past month, there were zero city citations given, 2 city warnings given, 2 state citations given, zero motorist assists, 2 backup assists, and one arrest. He also reported seven miscellaneous tasks, including a house watch, a follow-up on a code enforcement concern, and a follow-up on a concern of a car driving through a yard. He spent $48 on gas for the month. The chief stated that he hoped his detailed report is proof of his policy of transparency and an open door.

There were no variance requests.

There were no resident comments.

Old Business-At the request of councilperson Ellen White, the subject of ordinance review was placed on the agenda under Old Business. This was discussed at last month’s meeting, and Ellen requested an update on the status of (1) finding the missing ordinances and (2) what would be done about the ordinances which had duplicate or incorrect numbers and those which have titles which do not conform to the Kentucky Revised Statutes. The city attorney stated that if, after a diligent search, missing ordinances cannot be located, then they may be repealed. Councilperson Shannon Seidt asked if they could all be repealed on one ordinance, or if each missing/mis-numbered ordinance had to be repealed separately. The attorney stated that he would have to research the answer to that question. He stated that ordinances with incorrect or duplicate numbers could be amended to re-number them. The City Clerk stated that she had not had a chance to locate the missing ordinances from the list that Ellen provided. Ellen also brought up the issue of ordinances with titles which do not conform to the Kentucky Revised Statutes, which state that the title of the ordinance must clearly state what the ordinances is about (for example, it cannot just say “an ordinance amending ordinance #2; it must say “an ordinance amending ordinance #2 relating to parking”). The city attorney stated that he believes that the titles of those ordinances are “defensible,” since they state within the body of the first page what they are about. Shannon suggested that the council have a special session (open to the public), along with members of the Code Enforcement Board, which would be solely focused on the issue of the missing/mis-numbered ordinances. She felt that it was a misuse of residents’ time to continue the discussion at the City Council meeting. The mayor agreed. Ellen stated that she would be fine with that, as long as it got done, and the mayor stated that it would get done. (Aside: On November 23, the Friday after the City Council meeting, the City Clerk sent an email to council members stating that she had conducted a search. She found the addendum concerning a house in Orchid Place, and she located the one requested ordinance from 2018-2019. For one particular year, the request had been for any ordinances entered after the last number appearing in the ordinance folder, however, there were no additional ordinances for that year. So, three of the items on the requested ordinance list have been completed).

New Business: The discussion of new business concentrated on the proposed garbage can ordinance. While there has been a “policy” in effect, as stated in the WP Directory, it is an unenforceable policy. The intent of the proposed ordinance is to give the police chief the power of enforcement. So, if someone leaves their garbage cans out “all week long,” the police chief can give them a warning or a citation. The mayor stated that the first step would likely be a warning. While the ordinance drafted by the city attorney stated the hours of taking trash out no earlier than 7pm on Sunday and bringing it in by 7pm on Monday, the mayor suggested that a more reasonable schedule would be that cans could be put out on Saturday (for example, if someone had been doing yard work on Saturday) and that they must be brought back in by Tuesday at 7pm. Shannon stated that she did not believe this was a good use of the police chief’s time and WP’s money. She stated that, if there is a safety issue with cans in the middle
of the street, then the police chief can stop anyway to talk to the resident about that. She stated that maybe three or four houses out of the entire city might leave their garbage cans out past Tuesday. She stated that she did not believe that it was enough of an issue to have an ordinance. The mayor stated that it is not at the top of the agenda, but when it needs to be addressed, an ordinance would allow the police chief to address the situation. Shannon asked how leaving garbage cans out was harmful, other than just not looking good. George Langford stated that sometimes people put their garbage cans out early or leave them out later for good reasons, such as if they will be out of town. He stated that this is just another law that we don’t need. He said that we can just keep reminding people, or check on them to see if they are ill. The mayor stated that the reason for this discussion is to see whether the issue should go forward or not. Louisville Metro does have an ordinance on trash cans but, as Ellen pointed out, they do not enforce it. The city attorney stated that an ordinance would vest the police chief with the discretion to issue a warning or a citation. Greg Claypool stated that he agrees with the time changes as proposed by the mayor. He said that, if people can’t get their trash cans out, Republic Services will put them out for them. He stated that Indian Hills and Windy Hills also have garbage can ordinances. He said that garbage cans left on the street pose a threat to children and walkers. He thinks it is a safety issue, just like not parking on the street. He suggested that a garbage can could block a small child who could run out into the street. He stated that it decreases property values to have garbage cans on the street. He stated that our property values have increased due to the no parking on the street ordinance, and due to the appearance of the city. He stated that he had driven through the city on the Friday before the council meeting and that he saw 14 garbage cans sitting out at the curb (interestingly, I had walked through the city at night on that same Friday and did not see that). Greg stated that one house on Beechwood had leaves in white plastic bags which had been out in their yard for a week, and that it was against the rules to have leaves in plastic bags (I did see those bags, although it was on Perryman, not Beechwood; maybe people who don’t normally put out leaves don’t know that rule). Greg said that the main reason to have an ordinance was so that the police chief could give warnings or citations. Shannon asked why ordinances are in place; is it safety or appearance? She said that, even if Greg had seen 14 houses with garbage cans out on Friday, that is only 3% of the city. She stated that the police chief had just stated earlier that 3% of speeders in the city was a non-issue. (Of course, I argued vehemently against this proposed ordinance, for all of the reasons already stated in a previous post on Next Door). The mayor suggested that the issue be tabled until the full city council was present (councilperson Doug Watson was absent). Tom Nunn made a motion to table the discussion until after the first of the year, and George seconded. The city attorney stated that the document can be introduced as an ordinance at any time; even if tabled, it can be resurrected. A vote was taken on tabling the discussion. Four council members agreed, while Ellen opposed.

Next was the Mayor’s Report:

Snow Removal: Brownsboro Lawn Care is the current vendor. The mayor said that WP is one of the first cities plowed, and the prices will be the same as last year. He said that they have been doing the snow removal in the city long enough that they are familiar with the streets. Four council members approved entering into a new snow removal contract with Brownsboro Lawn Care. Ellen abstained from the vote.

City Hall Maintenance/Repair: There is a clogged vent pipe in the water heater. Last month, the mayor had obtained an estimate for repair (from All American). On the estimate sheet, there were three items marked with an asterisk, which the company stated must be done, while the other items were recommended, but not vital. The mayor had obtained another estimate from a different company (Ace). That estimate exceeded the other company’s estimate for the three items, but that company would use stainless steel. Greg stated that he wanted stainless steel, not aluminum. Shannon asked what the time frame for the work would be. The mayor stated that All American was scheduling one month out, but there was no time frame from Ace. Greg asked about the warranty for the work, which is five years. Shannon stated that the council should go ahead and decide, because it is already one month away, and the project should not be delayed. Someone stated that the damage needs to be stopped, because it may cause roof damage. Tom made a motion for All American to complete the repairs, not to exceed $1800 using stainless steel; if they do not have the option of stainless steel, then not to exceed the $1562.42 estimate if they use aluminum. Four councilpersons approved the motion. Ellen abstained from the vote.

Stivers Sinkhole Update: The mayor has contacted an engineering firm to review the sinkhole. The mayor passed around a photo and stated that the sinkhole has not changed in depth or width. He is going to try to get MSD to take ownership. He said there is a sewer line which runs down the middle of the street to a drainage line. Right in the middle-directly over the drainage line-is the sinkhole. However, MSD says that the sinkhole isn’t coming from there. But, all of the pipes intersect where the sinkhole is located. This is a private street, and WP is responsible for it. If we excavate it and find that it is in the pipes, then MSD can reimburse us for it. The mayor said that it definitely needs to be addressed, as it could open up any time. He will get recommendations from the engineer for people who do that work to look into opening it up to see what’s there. He has no idea how much this will cost.

Beechwood Right of Way: This was a follow-up to a citizen concern brought up at last month’s meeting about the railroad easement behind GMCourt, which the resident stated is an eyesore and shows signs of neglect. The resident had stated that there needs to be regular maintenance and removal of debris buildup, as well as regular cutting of volunteer growth and regular tree maintenance and removal of dead branches.

This is the strip of land at the end of Beechwood Road, if you were walking down Beechwood Road from Westport Road, past Kinloch and the lawn business. The mayor stated that drainage runs along the property lines. There is a 10 foot easement to property owners which property owners have to maintain. The drain in the right of way is full of leaves. The mayor and the police chief had cleared it out. There are some dead limbs in the right of way. The mayor stated that it was a natural environment there (aside: I saw two deer hanging out in there on October 30!). The mayor stated that, during the growing season, it is cut once a month by the city’s lawn service. The area is parallel to a CSX line which, according to the mayor, belongs to the city of Beechwood Village. The mayor asked if the city council wanted to vote to remove the dead limbs. George said that he believes this is an MSD issue; there are two railroad ties in a concrete culvert; the culvert was put in by MSD, and they have been notified.
The mayor and the police chief walked back there on the day of this meeting, and the water was flowing. Ellen stated that she had spoken with someone at CSX, who said that it was fine to enter their right of way to perform maintenance, because they weren’t going to do it. The CSX employee stated that there was one maintenance person for the entire state, and they have had layoffs and are lagging behind on maintenance. The CSX employee stated that the city could maintain the area and send CSX a bill, but good luck getting that paid. Shannon said that the area used to be maintained more often than once a month, and she believed that the resident who brought up this issue was hopeful that it would be maintained more often. The mayor stated that he can do a new contract to cut the area more often. George said that, in the past, they had to cut down 30 trees on Beechwood and, at that time, they checked all of the trees in the right of way and took down the bad trees there. AT&T has also been back there cutting down trees. Shannon made a motion to clear out the fallen limbs which are there now and to discuss a new maintenance schedule. Ellen seconded the motion. The motion was passed.

City Website: The mayor stated that he wants to update the city website, and have the city’s ordinances posted there. That is the goal. However, over the last few months, there have been unexpected financial issues. He stated that he and the police chief had talked to a consultant on the day of the meeting to review the functionality of the WP website and to look at other cities’ websites. So, they are still looking into this issue.

Holiday Reception/Hanging of the Green: The mayor stated that, for the past seven or eight years, there has been a holiday reception after the December city council meeting. There is usually just a brief city council meeting in December. In the past, they have used Salsarita’s to cater the reception. The catering budget last year was $300. They have had 40-50 people attend in the past couple of years. Shannon asked about combining this with a family activity, but the mayor stated that would be too many people in City Hall at one time. They said that the family activity (which includes arts and crafts) was a big success. The council (except for Ellen, who abstained from the vote) approved funding of up to $500 for catering for the holiday reception.

Storm Debris: (not on the agenda, but added due to the previous week’s ice storm). The mayor stated that Republic Services has a rule that 15 bags of yard waste can be set out at a time. He was going to try to get an exception to this limit, based on the amount of storm damage (the mayor sent an email to council members a few days later stating that Republic would not agree to exceed that limit).

Movie: The mayor stated that a movie which was partially filmed in WP, called “Clove Hitch Killer” was being shown at the Village 8.

Council Focus:

City Hall: Greg Claypool stated that he had nothing to add, but that the leak needs to be fixed.

Streets & Signs: Tom Nunn reported that the water main break on Green Meadow Circle/Green Meadow Court had been fixed and blacktopped. He said that he had heard from a vendor who stated that, if crack seal is applied, the life of the streets may be prolonged for about two more years. He had a bid for $12,000 for cold seal and $11,200 for hot patch. The mayor stated that the streets will need attention, because they can get potholes.

Fence & Building Permits: Doug Watson was absent. George gave his report. He stated that a resident on Perryman had built an 8-foot fence, with the posts facing the wrong way. The resident was advised that her fence was out of compliance, and she agreed to have the fence cut down by two feet, and to shadowbox the pickets.

Lighting Grid: Ellen White reported as follows:
The period of time encompassed is October 15 through November 18:
Meetings attended:
10/15 City Council meeting (1.5 hours)
11/5 Code Enforcement meeting (.5)
11/7 Block Watch meeting (2.0)
11/11 Meet the Chief meeting (.5)
11/12 Block Watch meeting (1)
Total 5.5
Conferences with constituents:
10/16 Telephone conferences with 3 residents re: city council meetings (.8)
Total .8
Green Meadow Court issue addressed at 10/15 CC meeting:
10/17 Legal research on right of ways and easements; walk/observe area (1)
10/22 Telephone conference with CSX (.1)
10/25 Emails with mayor and George Langford and telephone conference with George to get clarification on who owns this piece of land and how it had been maintained in the past. Mayor explained that the land at the end of Beechwood Road is “treated as public land.” The mayor stated that the property has been maintained by the city, and that the area “is and has been scheduled for cutting on a monthly basis (April through October) in accordance with its natural setting.” (.3)
I did try to contact the resident who attempted to address the CC, to get more information on her concerns. I stopped by her house, and I also left a note in her mailbox, but we never got in touch.
Total 1.4
Street Lights:
10/17 Night walk street light patrol (.9)
OUTAGE: corner Beechwood/Westport Terrace (4254 WT)
10/18: online outage report to LGE (.1)
10/22: TC with LGE: they advised that the light at Beechwood/WT was damaged and scheduled to be replaced. As soon as BUD was able to come out to mark it, LGE would be able to replace it (.1)
11/2: Observed that the light at BW/WT was fixed.
10/18 Night walk street light patrol (.5); all were working, but the one at the corner of GMCt was buzzing (.5)
10/22 Night street light patrol. Followed up on citizen report of streetlight out at 804 Beechwood. Confirmed that outage, and confirmed the buzzing was continuing on GMCt (1.3)
10/23 online outage report of Beechwood and GMCt to LGE (.1)
10/27 confirmed street light now working at 804 Beechwood
10/30 confirmed GMCt light no longer buzzing
10/24 Night walk street light patrol (.8)
10/29 Night walk street light patrol (.4)
11/2 Night walk street light patrol (.9)
11/6 Night walk street light patrol (1)
11/16 Night walk street light patrol (1.4)
Saw lights out, but wasn’t sure if they were actually out, or if part of LG&E storm outage
11/17 verified street lights out at corner Perryman/Middlebrook and at corner Kinloch/Beechwood; online report to LGE (.2)
Total 8.2
Total time expended 15.9 hours

Drainage/Block Watch: George Langford stated that we had already discussed the MSD/Beechwood issue earlier at the meeting, so he would not reiterate it here. He stated that Boland Maloney, the owner of Woodlawn Center, had cleared trees and cleared the detention basin on Stivers Road. He attended two WP Block Watch meetings; not all captains were present. The first meeting was an opportunity to meet the new police chief. At the second meeting, it was decided that residents could post videos on Next Door, possibly with a link from the city’s Facebook page. A resident had posted a video of a prowler on Green Meadow Circle who was wandering through driveways at 230am. George stated that he thought it was time for someone else to take over the Block Watch, as he has done it for five years. He stated that a city councilman should not necessarily be in charge of the Block Watch. He wants to discuss
someone taking over at the next Block Watch meeting in February. He thinks the new police chief has done a good job.

Community Activities: Shannon Seidt stated that last year they had a cookies and cocoa event on the Thursday before Christmas. This year, she wants to do it between Christmas and New Year’s. This will be for families and children in the city. She stated that, last year, she got cookies and cocoa from Panera, and there was a craft activity. She said about 60 people attended. The budget last year was under $200. The council (except for Ellen, who abstained from the vote) voted to approve the budget for this event.

The meeting was adjourned.

(Aside: There are a couple of reasons that I abstained from voting on all of the budgetary issues at this meeting [except the cleanup of the Beechwood area, which is a safety issue]. First, since I am only an interim council member, I did not believe that it would be prudent of me to vote on spending taxpayers’ money. This is especially true of spending our tax dollars on holiday events, parties, food, crafts, etc. Second, I found it highly irregular that the city council needed to “wait until the full council was present” to vote on the garbage can ordinance, but that it was perfectly okay to vote on budgetary issues with five council members present).

(Aside: I want to thank Kim Horn for live streaming/videotaping the City Council meeting. This allowed members of the community who could not be present to watch the meeting, either live or at a later time. This certainly increases the transparency of our government proceedings, which is always a good thing. I think it would be a very good idea for the City Council to live stream/video the meetings but, until they do, I am glad that a resident has volunteered to do this).

(Last Aside: I apologize for not posting these notes sooner. I could say that it was because of the holiday, or because I was busy, but it was really just because I didn’t feel like it. This meeting was, in my opinion, pretty contentious and, frankly, I wasn’t looking forward to re-hashing it. Also, I am not sure if people really want to read this stuff or not).

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