UNOFFICIAL notes of 10/15/18 City Council Meeting UNOFFICIAL

Started by ellen on Tuesday, October 16 2018, 01:28 pm ·

The Woodlawn Park City Council meeting was held on October 15, 2018. The meeting was opened with the Pledge of Allegiance. Council members read the proposed Minutes from the 9/17 and 9/26 Council meetings. 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 September were $10,506.40. Total expenses were $15,458.03. This included $2061.68 in expenses for City Hall, of which $1680 was listed as being paid to Kilner Electric. When asked about this expense by Councilperson Ellen White, the mayor stated that this was for repair to the flagpole lights. The Treasurer’s Report was approved. Next was the City Clerk Report, which discussed hits to the website. It was further reported that the City Clerk’s house had been sold, and that she would be moving soon, although she will be keeping the job of City Clerk.

The police chief gave the Police Report: He started work on October 8. He is in the process of organizing his office and purging old material. He has met with George Langford and the Block Watch captains. He installed the mechanical speed sign on the corner of Walser and Alicent Court. The sign flashes your speed as you are driving by it. (If you are going the correct speed, it politely says, “thank you.”). The sign is supposed to analyze whether a car slows down after being prompted that it is going at too high a rate of speed. He said he will leave it at the current location for two to three weeks, then move it around to other locations. He hopes to be able to use the data from this device to analyze whether there is speeding in the city, and in what areas it occurs. He has ordered a uniform. The chief said that his door is always open if people want to contact him, or anyone can call him anytime. If he is working, he will answer the phone (unless he is in the middle of a police run). If not, leave a message and he will call back. He will be holding a Coffee with the Chief event on November 11, 2018 from 1-4 p.m. and anyone is welcome to drop by City Hall for a meet and greet. (November 11 is on a Sunday).

There were no variance requests.

Resident Greg Huettig stated that he did not believe that WP needs red lights exiting/entering the city on Westport Road (there was some discussion of this on NextDoor).

Resident Natalie Grooms has lived in WP since 2002. She lives on Green Meadow Court. She has concerns about the railroad easement behind GMCourt. She said it is an eyesore and shows signs of neglect. She stated that she had contacted the mayor about this. She stated that there needs to be regular maintenance and removal of debris buildup. She said that the slope and height of the ditch has changed, and that the concrete ditch does not drain. She stated that there needs to be regular cutting of volunteer growth, as there are several trees/weeds which have sprung up, and that the mowing schedule should be increased or improved. She stated that there needs to be regular tree maintenance and removal of dead branches, as well as regular concrete ditch maintenance, including the removal of leaves and debris. She would like WP to consider improvements for the beautification of this area, such as possibly planting a butterfly garden or other native garden, or putting up a privacy fence or shrubbery to shield the view. The mayor stated that WP does not own that land. He stated it is owned by Beechwood Village and/or CSX, and that WP is not responsible for and, in fact, cannot perform any maintenance on this area. Ms. Grooms stated that WP had taken care of this area in the past, and that it is mowed monthly. She was told that WP had been “taking care of someone else’s property.” Unfortunately, Ms. Grooms was not able to make her full presentation, as the time limit on resident comments expired. However, she was able to add that the land in the grassy circle in the middle of GMCourt had sunken and that it holds water. The mayor asked Ms. Grooms to email the council members with her concerns and then she was (quite rudely) dismissed.

There was no discussion of old business.

Under the heading of new business, the agenda stated “ordinance revenue.” Actually, it was “ordinance review.” Interim Councilperson Ellen White, in preparation for her service on the City Council, felt it was her duty to be familiar with all WP ordinances. Given access to the city council’s Dropbox, she reviewed all ordinances and an index which had been posted. However, not all of the ordinances, municipal orders, and resolutions were included. When this was brought to the attention of the mayor and city clerk, they advised looking in the ordinance binder at City Hall. However, again, not all of the ordinances, municipal orders, and resolutions were included in that binder. These documents are nowhere to be found. Over 11 days (17.3 hours) of work on this project, this councilperson created a binder of available ordinances, organized by category, with an index of all ordinances, and indexes for individual categories. However, this project has stalled without the missing documents.
By not having copies of all ordinances, WP is not in compliance with KRS 83A.060, which states, (8) Every action of the city legislative body shall be made a part of the permanent records of the city…the legislative body shall provide by ordinance for the maintenance and safekeeping of the permanent records of the city…all ordinances adopted in a city shall, at the end of each month, be indexed and maintained in the following manner:
(b) All other city ordinances {besides budget, monetary appropriations, and tax levies} shall be kept in the minute book or an ordinance book in the order adopted and indexed in a composite index or maintained in a code of ordinances.
(12) The legislative body may adopt municipal orders…All orders adopted shall be maintained in an official order book.
In addition to the missing ordinances, municipal orders, and resolutions, there are also several ordinances which are mis-numbered, amendments which refer to incorrect ordinances, and ordinances with duplicate numbers. Further, many ordinances have titles which do not conform to the statutory requirements. According to KRS 83A.060, (1) Each ordinance shall embrace only one subject and shall have a title that shall clearly state the subject and (3) No ordinance shall be amended by reference to its title only. There are 25 ordinances which do not comply with these provisions. Of those, 22 are ordinances amending other ordinances, but that is their only title, e.g. “an ordinance amending ordinance no. 3 series 1976.” These titles are clearly “amended by reference to title only” and do not clearly state the subject of the ordinance.
KRS 83A.060 (11) states that at least once every five years, each city shall cause all ordinances in the composite index or code of ordinances to be examined for consistency with state law and with one another and to be revised to eliminate redundant, obsolete, inconsistent, and invalid provisions. While it is unknown whether this provision has been complied with, it seems unlikely, as surely if that had been done, then someone would have found this previously.
At the last city council meeting, the city’s attorney stated that they were no longer going to be able to publish new ordinances in The Voice. He was going to check to see if LEO was a qualified publisher for further ordinances. Pursuant to KRS 424.210(1)(d), ordinances are to be published in the newspaper in the area which has the highest paid subscription rate. Therefore, it is this writer’s opinion that ordinances should be, and should always have been, published in the Courier-Journal. Further, the CJ is a more accessible newspaper, since it is online and back issues can be searched on the library’s website (and there were a couple of WP ordinances found in a search of the CJ although, unfortunately, they were not the missing ordinances).
While several councilpersons gave various excuses for why these documents could not be found (there was a flood at the person’s house where they used to be kept; the clerk’s office used to remain unlocked, so anyone could enter at any time, etc.), the bottom line is that it is practically impossible to enforce ordinances, municipal orders, and resolutions to which there no access. In other words, how can you enforce a law when you don’t know what it says? The mayor asked this councilperson to email the information to the council members and the city’s attorney, and the mayor asked for a copy of the list for himself and the City Clerk after the meeting. Before 9am on October 16, all information, including the list of missing documents, mis-numbered and duplicate documents, and ordinances with non-conforming titles were emailed to all City Council members (including the mayor, city attorney, and city clerk), along with copies of the applicable statues. PDF copies of the comprehensive index and a sample individual category index created by this councilperson were emailed and, as stated at the meeting, this councilperson will be happy to provide the Word version of all indexes (when they can be completed, whether by finding the missing documents or when unknown ordinances/orders/resolutions have been repealed) for the future use of the city. Further, this councilperson stated her willingness to assist in any manner with this project, even after the expiration of the interim term.

Next was the Mayor’s Report, as follows:
Stivers Road Sinkhole Update: An engineer has reviewed the sinkhole and has contacted MSD. MSD will re-evaluate to see if this is on MSD property. Previously, MSD stated that it was not a leak in the pipe. Apparently, it is right on the MSD line, but which way over the line is still to be determined. The last contact with MSD was on October 8, and they are still awaiting a response. The area does not seem to be growing, but something still needs to be done. The mayor is hoping that MSD will take responsibility.
City Hall Maintenance: As discussed at the last meeting, there is a leak. There are cracks in the wall above the mantel, and there are water lines in the basement showing where water has come into the basement. Apparently, the chimney flue is clogged with insulation and other debris. The chimney cap has deteriorated to practically nothing. The mayor had obtained an estimate from a contractor who has worked on the building previously. The estimate for repair was $3146.32. Councilperson Shannon Seidt proposed that the mayor obtain other estimates before proceeding.
Junk Pickup: Junk pickup was last week. There was a light response, and the mayor believes that people put out less junk for fall pickup than for spring. There were no issues reported with junk pickup.
League of Cities Annual Meeting: The League of Cities annual meeting will be held on November 15. The mayor asked the city council members who were present if they would be attending. Councilperson Ellen White, never having served on this body before, was unaware of what this meeting was about. The League of Cities provides advocacy for small city governments. This councilperson asked if there was a cost to attend, and was advised that there was. At that, this writer stated that she would not attend. It was stated that WP paid the cost. When asked how much it cost, this councilperson balked at the $49 price tag, and stated that, as long as there was representation from WP (as some councilpersons had stated they would be attending), she would decline to attend.
Flu Shots: The mayor encouraged everyone to get a flu shot, as flu season is approaching and, in fact, there has already been one flu death.

Council Focus:
City Hall: Greg Claypool reported that a group with which he is associated had used City Hall for a meeting. City Hall is reserved for use on November 27.
Streets & Signs: Tom Nunn reported that he had contacted two people to give him information. He had been out of town. When he returned, one of the people had been ill, and the other had not returned his call. He stated that it is difficult to get work done when you call people to come out to give estimates but they do not seem to want to be bothered.
Fence & Building Permits: Doug Watson stated that no one had applied for any permits.
Lighting Grid: Report by Ellen White: On September 17, 2018, I was appointed as WP’s interim city councilperson. My assigned area of responsibility is lighting. In preparation for my service, in addition to the ordinance review previously discussed, I felt it was my duty to review all of the past City Council meeting minutes which were posted on the city’s website, from 2011-2018. I reviewed required materials relating to the open meeting and open records laws.
In preparation for attending the Special Meeting regarding the hiring of a police chief, I conducted internet research on the prospective new chief. The mayor had provided a “bio summary” of the police officer. I emailed the mayor with a request for the officer’s actual resume, which the mayor provided after a second councilperson requested it. This allowed me to conduct additional research and prepare a list of questions to ask the prospective chief. I attended the Special Meeting on September 26, where I voted to approve the hiring of the new chief.
Regarding my focus area of lighting, I first created a map of WP. On September 19, 20, and 22, I walked the neighborhood, noting the locations of all street lights. On September 22, I drove through the neighborhood after dark to see if any street lights were out. On September 28 and September 30, I walked through the city to observe the street light locations and to confirm the addresses for my lighting map. On October 2, I completed my lighting map, which shows the location of all street lights in the city. On October 2 and October 3, I walked through the city after dark to determine if any street lights were not working. The street light at the corner of Westport Terrace and Ahland was out. On October 3, I emailed the mayor to determine the proper procedure for reporting the outage, and was advised to report it to LG&E. I immediately placed an online report to LG&E. I received a voicemail message from LG&E on October 8, stating that crews had been out on October 5, and that they would be returning the next week to make further repairs. On October 9, I completed another after-dark walk of the neighborhood, noting that the Westport/Ahland street light was still out. On October 12, I went by and found that the light has been fixed. All of the other street lights in the city are working at this time, although I have found that Ahland is very dark, as is the 900 block of Perryman. One resident asked me to convey that she felt it was important to have street lights which do not cause light pollution. These streetlights point downward, rather than up, and do not unduly disturb wildlife. I did notice that there is one street light which is on an LG&E pole, and it does point downward, and it also provides more light than the black metal light poles in the rest of the city.
On October 1, I attended the Code Enforcement Board meeting, and on October 4, I attended the block watch meeting.
I have kept track of the time I have spent on WP duties, using the same time sheet that I use at work. The total time I have expended on WP duties from my appointment on September 17 through October 13 is 37.4 hours . I have this time broken down into categories, and I will be glad to make my time sheet available for anyone who is interested in seeing it.
Attend CEB and BW meetings: 1.5 hours
Review proposed minutes of 9/17 and 9/26 meetings; prepare for council
meeting of 10/15
Council Meeting Minutes: print, review, take notes: 4.6 hours
Street lights: walking, mapping, observing, reporting outage: 10.3 hours
Special Meeting: preparation and attendance: 1.8 hours
Ordinances: review, print, create and update binder, create and update
index and category indexes, look for missing ordinances, uploading to
dropbox, create and update list of missing ordinances, legal research: 17.3 hrs
Speeding: TC with citizen .8 (other time was in conjunction with lighting or
on personal walking time)

Further, prior to the beginning of this meeting, I was informed by another councilperson that someone had advised them that the streetlight at the corner of Ambridge Circle was out. I made a note of this and will check on it this evening.

Drainage/Block Watch: George Langford was not present. The mayor made his report. George had contacted Angela Leet’s office (for the second time) to try to get CSX to clean up the ditch.
Community Activities: Shannon Seidt stated that, between now and the next meeting, there will be a lot of trick-or-treaters in the neighborhood. She asked if there were certain times for trick-or-treating in WP. The mayor stated that WP’s times would be the same as Louisville Metro. Shannon stated that she still wants to explore “kids at play” signs, but will leave it to the police chief to determine any areas where these may be needed. She asked about the status of the new website, because the current website is not mobile-friendly. The mayor stated that this project has not moved forward yet because other expenses have come up, but that it is still being considered. Shannon stated that the December council meeting is usually a dinner for people in the neighborhood. Last year, she said, they had a family activity. She wants to gauge interest for this. Last year, this was quite popular, with over 70 residents, which strained the limits of City Hall. The mayor wants her to speak with the chief about coordinating the Meet the Chief event.

Discussion: Councilperson Greg Claypool stated that people are leaving trash cans out on the street past Wednesday, or putting them out days in advance of pickup. He said, “this makes the city look like crap.” He wants an ordinance to state specific times to put out and bring in trash cans. He stated that he wanted the ordinance to give the police chief the authority to give warnings or citations for violations. The mayor advised the city attorney to draft an ordinance.

The meeting was adjourned.


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Replied by Kim Horn on Wednesday, October 17 2018, 01:43 pm

I agree.

They will probably be confused as to why it takes so long for accepted minutes to appear in the City Archives section here on our tax-funded website and why it is so user unfriendly.

Considering that (for ANOTHER month) the mayor/council have decided to continue to back burner the updating of this site (making it user-friendly with mobile devices--which it is not), I appreciate how quickly Councilperson White is able to disseminate useful, timely information via Nextdoor. Her posts clearly state that they are "unofficial" minutes.

This site is antiquated and renders itself almost unusable, especially now that we know a complete index/listing of any/all WP Ordinances cannot be accessed here.

Kim Horn


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Replied by George Langford on Tuesday, October 16 2018, 05:29 pm

I am sure you have good intentions for printing UNOFFICIAL MINUTES, but I sure some residents are going to be confused between yours and the OFFICIAL MINUTES. This could and will be a problem in the future

George Langford-Councilman


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