Archive for April 8, 2008

Paula’s Perspective – April 7th

March 24th minutes:
http://www.cityoflorain.org/documents/council/3-24-08_662.doc
http://www.cityoflorain.org/documents/council/3-24-08_663.doc
http://www.cityoflorain.org/documents/council/03-24-08_669.doc
http://www.cityoflorain.org/city_council/agendas.shtml
Paula Tobias by Paula Tobias

Disclaimer:
I try very hard to listen, think about what they’re saying, and write key points down. If I’ve missed something please let me know.

A very top level of my perspective follows:

First item of the evening:

”An Executive Session, by proper motion, will be held in accordance with ORC Section 121.22 (G) (3) to discuss pending or imminent court action pursuant with the public body’s attorney.”

CORRESPONDENCE FROM THE GENERAL PUBLIC:
1. CT Consult ltr dated March 24, re add’l full-length pavement & non-pipe side storm sewer repairs.
CT has suggested the use of storm water utility funds to repair…..

LEGISLATION – FIRST READING:
1.___Reso support Governor Strickland’s “Building Ohio Jobs” a 1.7 billion dollar job stimulus pkg
http://www.loraingrowth.com/attachments/11_08-04_Lorain_Supports_Jobs_Plan.pdf

Where is this money coming from? I remember something similar to this before in another administration and what it appeared to do was set up a Committee of “Friends” with high paying salaries. Sorry if I sound cynical but the State is in big trouble and I don’t see them helping us out any time soon. I hope I’m wrong.

2._Reso support OH Responsible Lending Advocacy, rate cap for payday small loans APR 36%
3.___Reso declaring it necessary to improve Cooper Foster (Oak Pt. to 1100’ east) Cleveland Clinic
(large employer $414,000 in taxes last year)

4.___Ord. auth Auditor enter contract w/o bid, upgrade document imaging software Treasures, LPD
Clerk’s office currently is the only user, possibly 15 total users in the future

I’m sure there is reason as to not going out for bid on some items. But I hope council has been told by the Dept Heads when this happens and is presented with facts and figures as to why it wasn’t necessary.
This also segways into: Is our city communicating internally? Not only amongst departments, unions, management, administration… I also mean technically and I don’t believe having a fancy phone system that can provide teleconference/videos from one department to another. (Everyone should be within driving distance to all departments and offices for a face-to-face).
I’m talking about our computer systems. Can the Police software talk to the building department software, can talk to the utility department software/databases, can talk to the 7th floor, 5th floor etc etc.
Think of what you can accomplish.
Example:
Police have had several nuisance calls to xxx East Erie Ave, Building Department has had calls about building violations at xxx East Erie Ave and the Water department has been sending notices that water/sewer bills are WAY past due. Put all this in one database, it’s reviewed for “patterns” and addressed accordingly.

6.___Ord. repealing Codified Ord. No. 93-93, which created & estab. policy for city-owned vehicles.
(going back to committee to separate administrative items from legislative)

I would recommend random drug testing be mandatory for Administration and ALL city employees that use city vehicles. (What is the procedure on this?) Also, if an accident occurs immediate testing following.

7.___Ord. assessing cost of abating nuisance during 2007.
Owners are billed and eventually a lien is placed on the residence, per the Mayor.

8.___Ord. approve execute dev agrmt w/Indust Realty acq Emerson campus & renov 1530 Kansas
Emergency clause concerned council, while being discussed Comm Development did a pass out . Mr. Holcomb asked that it go into committee.
Ms. Szabo:
Parking lot – IRG (helped with the deal) Emerson is leasing parking lot and the building, they were going to move so the City had to do something, they are the 7th largest employer (280+ employees) $300,000 income tax.
Cost of demolition to the City? unknown.

Water Distribution where will this go?
They’ll get a temporary location.
Mrs. Molnar insisted she know where they’ll move Water Distribution Dept before agreeing.
Went into Committee to discuss immediately.
Economic Development Fund, (Utilities) Council will determine how 10% is spent.

Mr. Holcomb asked some very good questions…. (Next week review the minutes.)

Mr.Gilchrist explained we are trying to retain jobs, we have no money to offer, so we’re offering buildings.

I like this, it’s creative and reminds me of bartering, we still need to pay attention to what we’re “offering/giving”.

Up to $600,000 is being offered from the city’s revolving business loan for up to 10 yrs (Breaks down to $75,000 a yr ( amortized ) to demolish. (I heard we paid $270,000 for it, correct me if I’m wrong).
Loan Repayment? 75,000 a yr from General Fund? Where’s it coming from (income tax revenue)

( IRG’s investment = $2mil to buy Emersons building and will put in another $2mil)
Instead of us reimbursing we replace roof on bldg c , demolition of building and parking lot replacement 1530 Kansas.

Mr.Given suggested we not dwell on individual items, we need to save these jobs.

9.___Ord. approve execute dev agrmt w/CVS 3353 OH LLC redev retail plaza sw Oberlin & Meister.

The previous ordinance had the same 10% allocation mentioned and concerned me. Mr. Prudoff explained as an Economic Development Fund, many other cities use this. And it was assured Council has to approve all expenditures from this fund.
There was hesitation and concern from council on both of these ordinances and I understand. This went to committee.

LEGISLATION – SECOND READING:
1.___Ord. amend Section 911.406 Cod. Ord., TAPS – SERVICE SIZE – MATERIALS – plastic pipe
Council is awaiting information from the Utilities Director.
2.___Ord. auth S/S Dir enter agree w/Berresford Broker for recycle/remove Steel Mill By-Products –Sent to Committee

COMMITTEE CALLS: Public Hearings, April 21st @ 6 p.m. applic rezone 336 Oberlin Ave. R-3 to B-1 and applic rezone property on sw corner E. 30th & Caroline from R-3 to B-2, to following to allow for expansions.

CRA meeting next week

Pot Hole meeting next week (admin not ready but have streets/sidewalk & finance discuss and begin a plan)

Beresford removal of by products from Steel Mill next week

MISCELLANEOUS CONCERNS FROM COUNCIL:

Mr. Flores has taken 190 photos of potholes in his ward (I believe he’s numbered them all),

as I recall he said 1-10 having already popped out and 100-110 haven’t even been replaced. pot holes
As I recall from previous council meetings we are physically unable to fix until the hot patch is made and weather warms up.

Next Monday in Committee they will begin to address the issue.

Mr. Given asked that the Police Chief come to council and explain the current state of the Police Department.
Chronicle coverage

ADJOURNMENT

April 8, 2008 at 10:16 am 2 comments


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