View Other Items in this Archive | View All Archives | Printable Version

City Council

City Council Meeting Minutes

Planning Session

January 30, 2012


1.         Roll Call

Mayor Roe called to order the Roseville City Council regular meeting at approximately 6:00 pm and welcomed everyone. (Voting and Seating Order for January: Pust; Willmus; Johnson; McGehee; and Roe).


Staff/Department Heads Present:  City Manager Bill Malinen; Finance Director Chris Miller; Public Works Director Duane Schwartz; Community Development Director Patrick Trudgeon; Parks and Recreation Director Lonnie Brokke; Fire Chief Tim O’Neill; and Police Chief Rick Mathwig.


2.            Approval of Agenda

Mayor Roe suggested reversing the order of Items #4 and #5 on tonight’s agenda, and by consensus, the agenda was amended.


3.            Public Comment

Mayor Roe called for public comment by members of the audience on any non-agenda items.


a.         Steve Stiehl, 2967 Chatsworth Street (bench handout to CC provided)

Mr. Stiehl presented written documentation providing background materials on a sewer back-up at their home during the significant rainfall events occurring on or around July 15, 2011.  Mr. Stiehl advised that approximately ninety percent (90%) of their basement had been flooded with raw sewage, and provided pictures in the materials of that damage, including an estimate for damages to the structure, personal possessions, and carpeting.  Mr. Stiehl advised that the plumber had advised that he could find no problem with their personal sewer line, opining that it was a problem with the City’s portion of the sewer line; and when City staff arrived approximately ½ hour after that, they ran a snake through their line.  However, when Xcel Energy was auditing City sewer lines approximately one month later, they were still unable to run their cameras through the City portion, advising that there were still roots in the line.  Mr. Stiehl advised that his written documentation included contact information at Xcel Energy for the City to obtain this video footage, showing the block.  Mr. Stiehl advised that the City, when contacted several days later, again snaked the line on August 23, 2012, in an attempt to clean out the pipe, but ended up excavating it instead. 


Upon the advice of staff and contact with the LMCIT, they originally denied the claim; and again even with the Xcel Energy information, again denied the claim on September 15, 2012.  Mr. Stiehl provided an invoice, including their costs included cleaning and removal of the carpeting in the lower level, decontamination, purchase of fans to continue the drying-out process, a conservative estimate of items lost or damaged in the raw sewage, and an estimated cost to get the basement back to pre-flood condition.  Mr. Stiehl advised that he was seeking reimbursement from the City of Roseville, noting that the LMCIT’s rationale for denying the claim was that the City’s sewer line had been cleaned two (2) years ago; however, Mr. Stiehl disputed the accuracy and/or adequacy of that record.  Mr. Stiehl advised that, as a homeowner, he could have done nothing to prevent the damage, since it was not a problem with their personal sewer line, but that of the City.


Mayor Roe advised that the City had other claims and comparable issues that it was currently reviewing at this time, and would take Mr. Stiehl’s situation under advisement and follow up at a later date, advising of the City’s determination at a later date.


3.            Approve Consent Agenda

At the request of Mayor Roe, City Manager Bill Malinen briefly reviewed those items being considered under the Consent Agenda.


a.            Authorize Filing of Pay Equity Report with DMB

City Manager Malinen noted that this was an item needing submission to the Minnesota Department of Management and Budget no later than January 31, 2012; and therefore staff was seeking review and a decision of the City Council at tonight’s meeting.


Johnson moved, Willmus seconded, approval of the 2011 Pay Equity Report for submission to the DMB; and authorizing the Mayor to sign the report.


Councilmember McGehee requested additional discussion of this report and further details at a later date related to differentials in  wage and advancement comparisons between male and female employees.


Mayor Roe noted that the report indicated that the City was within 98% compliance.

                                                Roll Call

         Ayes: Pust; Willmus; Johnson; McGehee; and Roe.

         Nays: None.


5.         Overview of Planning Process

At the request of Mayor Roe, City Manager Malinen provided a brief overview of the Department Head process in planning and budgeting for future accomplishments through a performance management program.  Written materials provided detail on that process.


Councilmember McGehee suggested adding to the process, noting the similarities of goals, and given her review of the information and Mayor Roe’s recent input from his attendance over the weekend at the LMC conference where civic engagement and strategic thinking were specifically addressed, and recommended that an additional piece of the process include publishing the plan for the public followed by an open meeting seeking public comment on that plan and the process. (Reference e-mail dated January 28, 2012 from Mayor Roe to City Manager Malinen and subsequently forwarded to City Department Heads by Mr. Malinen on January 30, 2012, and entitled “Outcomes… A summary of the aspirations of Imagine Roseville 2025, the 2030 Comprehensive Plan and the 2010 Park and Recreation System Master Plan”).


Mayor Roe advised that a key part of the broader community vision was to keep that updated, once the City Council’s short- and long-term goals and objectives were developed at the City Council level and a Roseville-specific model was in place.


Councilmember McGehee noted the need to include the more recently-developed Comprehensive Plan, as a community input document, as well as the Imagine Roseville 2025 document.


Mayor Roe noted that the Comprehensive Plan was based in large part on the Imagine Roseville 2025 community visioning process, with Community Development Director Trudgeon concurring with that observation.


Mayor Roe advised that in revising all goals documents, including the updated 2030  Comprehensive Plan, strategies were indicated toward achieving broader goals; however, he concurred that all of the documents needed to enter into the mix.  Mayor Roe advised that his objective was to develop a synthesized version with goals and aspirations that would incorporate everything in one place as the “go to” document.


Councilmember McGehee noted  that there were a number of goals and items clearly desired by residents that the City had ignored and in some cases actually done the opposite of what the documents had indicated as desired outcomes.


Mayor Roe noted that the process continued to evolve and be refined as it proceeded.


4.            Vision, Mission & Values

Mayor Roe referenced his “Outcome Summary,” and noted that while originally presented as a “DRAFT of his thoughts for staff review, he had offered it as a public document for City Council and public input for revision into a simple checklist against which to measure strategies coming under discussion tonight.  As a frame of reference, Mayor Roe noted that he had related each of his listed strategies to the goals/strategies of the Imagine Roseville 2025.  Mayor Roe advised that he had shared handout materials from the LMC Conference with City Manager Malinen, as well as the City’s Civic Engagement Task Force; and hoped to develop a work plan “docket” as a guiding document to avoid expending energy on things that were not focused on the City Council’s strategic plan.


Councilmember McGehee suggested that Mayor Roe’s overview be considered at the end of tonight’s discussion to see if it met with the strategic plans discussed here.


Mayor Roe suggested that when discussing broad goals, they be concise, but also broad: Not how, but what.  Mayor Roe opined that the process itself, as well as a final document or plan would be informed by tonight’s discussion.


City Manager Malinen advised that, in the process of developing a mission and value statement, it may take an entire afternoon of Council and staff time to set that tone and develop an understanding of that perspective.  In sharing collective values that are shared, City Manager Malinen noted the importance of keeping them in mind as staff pursued their daily work.


6.            Cobalt Presentation of Survey Data


The meeting agenda was amended as attempts were made to contact the Cobalt representative via phone.


7.            2011-2012 Work Plan

Mayor Roe noted that staff had presented its initial City Council Work Plan Report at the January 23, 2012, regular meeting; with Councilmembers seeking additional refinement of the report to include a status of each item, completion date of each item already completed, or an anticipated completion date.


City Manager Malinen advised that staff had yet to make those revisions since being requested by the City Council; but had included the original draft in tonight’s meeting materials as requested by the City Council.


Councilmember Pust asked that City Manager Malinen, provide an overview of work plan  the document created from last year’s strategic and work plan meetings of the City Council and staff.


City Manager Malinen provided that overview, noting that each project or focus had a lead department, and each Department Head was charged with providing the latest status reports, with some items completed and others continuing. At the request of Councilmember Pust, Mr. Malinen advised that the work plan was used by Department Heads to review their various assignments and provide emphasis, some specific and others broad, and to continue refining that on a periodic basis to the City Council, as part of their day-to-day assignments. 


Mayor Roe asked that staff revise the work plan and return it to the City Council in the near future for further discussion.


6.            Cobalt Presentation of Survey Data

Councilmember McGehee stated her need for confirmation with Cobalt representatives on whether the survey results were averaged among twelve (12) cities in the Midwest or nationwide.  Councilmember McGehee further noted that the City didn’t score very  well for Local Government Management; and opined that the survey needed a  better design and possible alternative method of distribution to make the results more accurate.


Mayor Roe noted that the City’s score for Local Government Management was just under 76%; and questioned how to design a survey to get more specifics. 


Councilmember Pust asked that City Manager Malinen lay the groundwork for the survey and provide some background information.


City Manager Malinen advised that the 2011 community survey had been performed by Cobalt Community Research; and tonight’s phone discussion would provide further detail on specific data for long-term drivers on the lower impact and lower satisfaction items identified from those random sampled participants in the survey; and identify how to work with the community to validate those items.


William SaintAmour, Executive Director, Cobalt Community Research/Midwest Area

Mr. SaintAmour, via phone with City Manager Malinen providing assistance with slide presentations, provided a quick refresher of data for the purposes of tonight’s strategic planning process.  Mr. SaintAmour addressed perception versus reality of the data, and how to minimize distortion or misconceptions of the data, or to fix real or actual performance issues.  Mr. SaintAmour reviewed why the City scored as they did based in part on their communication efforts, public outreach strategies and ability to educate the public; as well as those items given a high level of value by citizens for what they pay; and the need for the City to continue reminding its residents of the services they received and comparables of other communities, and what their tax bill encompasses.  Mr. SaintAmour noted that there were some reality gaps that could improve scores, such as a high police presence in areas where public safety issues were perceived to be lacking even if they were not.


Mr. SaintAmour addressed ways to improve performance to improve outcomes by establishing a framework for following up on the survey and why people responded as they did; and how to develop potential response actions.  Mr. SaintAmour addressed how to validate those ideas and potential action items through conversations with residents and staff; and to determine whether the ideas and actions make sense, suggesting focus groups to address short, specific topics from the survey data and benchmarking that data.  Mr. SaintAmour further addressed how staff could be provided with skills and tools to effectively implement action steps, through a project management phase, and step by step, with documentation of those steps to increase visibility and then once again measure any changes to original public perceptions.


Through a variety of slides, Mr. SaintAmour reviewed strategic priorities to assist the City Council in developing their strategic priorities and long-term planning, based on components specific to the City of Roseville; and noted that their lowest score was 64% of 100%, which was still an impressive level of satisfaction from its constituency.  In addressing the lower scored items, Mr. SaintAmour suggested that the City Council identify possible opportunities to leverage areas of economic health through attempting to attract certain types of companies or demographic groups into Roseville through selling their public safety and parks systems as huge selling points in an effort to draw those groups in.


Councilmember McGehee questioned the validity of this type of clustered distribution, since the City came out well in every category.


Mr. SaintAmour responded, noting that this showed areas in which the City could get its most impact for available resources; and if they chose to reduce those resources, they could do so to put those resources to the left hand side of the cluster chart to get the most impact.


At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. SaintAmour reviewed the various “bubbles” on the chart and their diversity and specific features; the various components under each bubble; and drivers of satisfaction and behavior based on perceptions of Local Government Management.


Mr. SaintAmour suggested that each of the high/low scores be reviewed to determine if they were performance or perception gaps; and to talk to those demographic groups who had rated the City low in those areas; and how they would specifically compare Roseville to their ideal community, which could reveal a lot of actionable ideas.


City Manager Malinen questioned the outcome of citizen engagement if improvements were done; and whether the perception was synonymous with citizen engagement based on the leverage available.


Mr. SaintAmour noted that the entire survey was based on perception; and reiterated that the drivers were satisfaction and behavior, noting economic health, living costs, available of jobs were lower than housing affordability, stability of property values, and the strength of the local economy, noting that engagement meant outcomes.


At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. SaintAmour advised that the comparison survey samples were based across the nation, and not necessarily specific to certain communities; but through random sampling, his firm  created an index to provide benchmarks. At the request of Councilmember Willmus, Mr. SaintAmour advised that he would provide the specific indexing information to the City Council through staff in the near future, estimating that there were approximately 2,000 cities across the nation included in the random benchmarking index, as well as those specific to the Midwest.  At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. SaintAmour advised that, with a population of approximately 33,000, the City of Roseville would be considered a fairly small city by comparison.


Mayor Roe refocused discussion specific to strategic planning; and suggested Councilmembers contact Mr. SaintAmour off-line for more information on how the survey worked.


Mr. SaintAmour noted that those benchmarks indicating that the City was outperforming other communities should not indicate that the City could sit back and relax; but by analyzing city-specific services and programs rated by satisfaction and priority of importance, it could guide resource decisions and strategies for specific services, and link perception data with internal data.  As to why operational metrics mattered, Mr. SaintAmour noted that through tracking financial data and managing processes, it offered “lead indicators” of future perceptions and other outcomes, and would serve to measure support efforts to manage quality, compliance, safety, awareness and cost before problems become public problems.  Mr. SaintAmour noted that it could also identify areas where training was indicated; and process and/or resource gaps, often ultimately indicated best by election results and lawsuits.


As key questions for expanded discussions, Mr. St. Amour suggested several options:

1)    Ask line staff and residents: “What is missing from the list?” and “What makes the most sense on the ground?”

Mr. SaintAmour noted the need to improve performance to improve outcomes: and when the measurement was completed:

2)    Use internal teams to further analyze results and form ideas; and

3)    Validate ideas and potential action steps.


Councilmember McGehee asked Mr. SaintAmour to clarify his view on how best to utilize the survey data through bringing in focus groups or the general public seeking their support to obtain additional information and assistance. Mr. SaintAmour suggested that staff and the City Council delve into the metrics of those areas in which they wanted  to improve perceptions and/or performance,  before inviting public participation.


Councilmember Johnson questioned how the public perceived Local Government Management that they would rate it so low; or whether their perception of the management of the services they ranked so high was more important than the actual services.


Mr. SaintAmour noted that Local Government Management was a specific category, and while those services were extremely important, he likened it to purchasing a car based on safety and styling, but not necessarily based on the mechanics, even though those were vitally important as well.  Mr. St. Amour noted that the chart displayed showed what differentiates Roseville, not the core services and programs, but the perception.  Mr. SaintAmour advised that he would send an e-mail better explaining this concept for the City Council and staff.


Councilmembers and staff thanked Mr. SaintAmour for his participation in tonight’s discussion, at which time the call was ended.


8.            Short and Long-Term Department Goals

At this time, Mayor Roe turned the meeting over to Councilmember Pust who had volunteered to serve as the facilitator for discussions.  Councilmember Pust advised that the discussion would resume and be free flowing; but suggested that the first and foremost issue was to determine if everyone was on the same page, based on their written submissions for tonight’s meeting and included in the meeting packet.  Councilmember Pust initiated discussion by asking the following question and invited comment around the table.


Why are we here?

Police Chief Mathwig opined that the purpose of tonight’s meeting was to develop priorities over the next 3-5 years for the City Council and process the visions of Councilmembers into specific actions for staff to assist in furthering those goals.


Councilmember Willmus opined that the purpose was to determine if the vision of Department Heads and City management were the same as his, as an elected official, and if not how to steer them toward his goals for the City.


Finance Director Miller opined that the purpose was to provide professional guidance for the goals to be completed tonight.


Mayor Roe opined that the purpose was to update the City Council’s work or strategic plan for the coming years by further refining it.


Councilmember Johnson opined that the purpose was to refine the City Council’s previous work plan, and digest changes seen by Department Heads or their forecasts for coming years.


Community Development Director Trudgeon opined that as a listener and participant in tonight’s discussion, he hoped to identify strategic priorities for the City to undertake that would ultimately determine City Council decisions and department-specific work in the future.


Public Works Director Schwartz opined that he was present to understand the City Council’s long-term vision and priorities for the City and how to realign his department’s day-to-day work to help the City Council and community achieve those priorities.


Councilmember McGehee opined that she wanted to review items identified in various documents, including the Parks Master Plan and Parks Survey, as well as other documents, and merge them into what the community members are looking for, and help their vision move forward as a foundation for strategic and work plans.


City Manager Malinen opined that he was here to help the City Council develop long-range goals to support their vision, and to better understand the details of how they wanted that vision to be implemented through the City’s various departments; and to understand the priorities of the City Council and share in how to accomplish them.


Fire Chief O’Neill opined that the purpose was to communicate strategic short- and long-term goals of the Fire Department and how they meshed with the City Council to ensure they were similar or the same.


Councilmember Pust advised that she was here to “take notes” of tonight’s discussion.


Homework Assignments

Councilmember Pust noted that each individual Councilmember and Department Head had been given a homework assignment to review the 2030 Comprehensive Plan, Imagine Roseville 2025 community visioning document, previous work plans, various surveys, and other background information provided by City Manager Malinen electronically and links identified in packet materials.  While individuals had submitted their written information including short- and long-term goals, Councilmember Pust noted that not all of the listening public had yet to read them.  Based on their written submissions, Councilmember Pust asked that she wanted individuals to look at their submissions through a different lens reflected from the survey information just reviewed as they thought about the items on their individual lists.


Councilmember Pust suggested the following lenses and asked that individuals, starting with Department Heads, choose three short- and three long-term items from their written submissions on which to focus based on three lenses, and how those chosen goals could be best reflected in an updated work plan over the next 3-5 years.


Control:          Those goals under the control of the City, not just Department Heads, but collectively as decision-makers;

Impact:        The relative level of impact or change that a specific goal would make in our community; and

Resources:   Whether the City had the available resources or could find resources to accomplish the goal.


Councilmember Pust asked that individuals also give further thought to how those goals related to the survey discussion based on the apparent desire of the community to improve Local Government Management to address economic health, property tax stability and how to link individual highlighted goals with community goals.


a.            Fire Department (Attachment Item 8.d, dated January 30, 2012)

Chief O’Neill noted that a majority of the department’s short-term reflected successful completion of a new fire station, and incorporated a number of short- and long-term items, with the building serving as a recruitment tool with the ability to provide service and staffing today as well as into the future and the ability to utilize community volunteers for part-time rather than full-time staffing.  Chief O’Neill opined that it was imperative to control costs, and by wrapping operations into one station, it will hopefully accomplish short-term staffing, recruitment and training needs.  Chief O’Neill advised that one other area to highlight was EMT planning to ensure the community was prepared in the case of a large-scale event, with that planning being attempted with available resources and financed in-house, based on last year’s goal for reorganization of the EMT services.


b.            Parks and Recreation (Attachment Item 8.e, dated January 30, 2012)

Parks and Recreation Director Brokke noted that implementation of the Parks Master Plan was a major emphasis, encompassing both short- and long-term goals.


In the short-term, Mr. Brokke advised that the goal would be successful completion in 2012 of the Park Renewal Program, then moving forward into 2015, continuing community involvement, and day-to-day operations that made sure projects were completed and functioned on budget.  Mr. Brokke noted that other goals rolled into that, including implementing sustainable and practical programs; redefining existing park improvement programs; and updating capital improvement needs.


For long-term goals beyond 2013-2015, Mr. Brokke highlighted continued work on the Park Renewal Program, expanded application of Best Value Procurement methodology, including training of other staff throughout the  City; and support of Parks and Recreation Management of facilities through the Park Renewal program.


c.            Administration (Attachment Item 8.a, dated January 30, 2012)

City Manager Malinen highlighted administrative and oversight goals as well as community-wide short term goals to contain employee health care costs in the market place; passage of a local option sales tax authority, noting that control of the City was not necessarily exclusive, but necessary.  Implementation of an electronic data assessment system for the Human Resources function for more internal and day-to-day management of personnel was another priority goal highlighted by City Manager Malinen.  At the request of Mayor Roe, City Manager Malinen advised that such a system would allow better management of employees and employee records and data to manage pay range eligibility statistics in budgeting projections, employee longevity, and other categories.


As long-term goals, City Manager Malinen identified achieving fund balance policy levels; implementing and sustaining a financial plan to meet the City’s capital needs; and stability of the City’s tax base and rates.


d.            Public Works (Attachment Item 8.g, dated January 30, 2012)

Public Works Director Schwartz highlighted short-term goals related to reinvestment in the City’s infrastructure; support of Parks Master Plan implementation; and a strategic plan for the Public Works Department to ensure staff resources.

For long term goals, Mr. Schwartz identified looking at strengthening partnerships with other departments and communities to further reduce costs; continue to improve customer service of the department; and improved sustainability through purchases and practices.


e.            Community Development (Attachment Item 8.b, dated January 30, 2012)

Community Development Director Trudgeon noted that his written submission included four short-term and two long-term goals, and in the short-term list, he saw all of them fitting into the lenses identified by Councilmember Pust.  Mr. Trudgeon specifically identified the goals for standards for multi-family properties: those within the City’s control, their visibility and impact to the community, and relegating the cost to property owners themselves.  Mr. Trudgeon further addressed the dramatic impact of the Neighborhood Enhancement Program (NEP) to-date for residential properties and similar goals for commercial properties to address code enforcement issues, and saw no further impact on resources beyond those already funded and consistent with residential costs.   Addressing technology goals for access by staff in the field, Mr. Trudgeon reviewed the impacts for the public in staff and residents having ready access to that information, further streamlining operations.



Other long-term items, specifically the Northeast Diagonal transportation corridor, Mr. Trudgeon noted would create more resource difficulties, as well as not being under the control of the City, but having significant impact on the community and region.  At the end of the day, Mr. Trudgeon noted that the City still needed to contend with the marketplace, even with great policies and resources in place.


f.             Finance (Attachment Item 8.c, dated January 30, 2012)

Finance Director Miller referenced his written submission, noting the goal for continuing infrastructure replacement funding, while recognizing the tremendous progress made in shoring up the vehicle, equipment and general facility replacement schedule.  However, Mr. Miller noted the need to look at the long-term sustainability of systems and stay on track, urging the City Council to do so.


Mr. Miller noted the need to revisit program priorities, opining that while rankings had been prioritized, in the last ten (10) years, he had not seen any change in resource allocation; and encouraged Councilmembers to continue looking at that in absence of new funding or resources, to address lesser valued programs as hinted at by Mr. St. Amour in the four (4) quadrants; and to get more “bang for the buck,” things needed to move among quadrants.  Mr. Miller advised that such a thought process was of importance to him, further opining that, as a community, it couldn’t be great at everything or be all for everyone.


Regarding Mr. Trudgeon’s comments on fostering redevelopment on undervalued properties, Mr. Miller offered a friendly reminder for the City Council to stay the course and not become complacent about problem properties, but to fix the problems.  Mr. Miller spoke in support of engaging more industry experts, such as the recent Urban Land Institute work shop, to address future demands of the City, and how to not only make Roseville successful, but how to keep it vibrant.  As indicated by several other metro-area suburbs, Mr. Miller noted how quickly things could go wrong, and reach a point of no return where they were unable to stop the tide.


g.            Police (Attachment Item 8.f, dated January 30, 2012)

Police Chief Mathwig noted that the bulk of the Police organization was its patrol unit, requiring a majority of the Department’s time and resources.  Chief Mathwig noted that the  majority of short-term accomplishments could be done with existing officers, through enforcement and community education.  Chief Mathwig noted the need to address, on a consistent basis, traffic concerns of citizens as they were brought forward and to ensure their voices were heard.


Regarding increased safety, Chief Mathwig opined that a lot was based on perception; and suggested the goal to become more bonded with neighbors and for the department to become a more visible element of the community.  With trespassing notices initiated in 2011, Chief Mathwig advised that those coming into Roseville with the intent to create problems were being successful in creating penalties significant enough as building blocks to make Roseville a safer place.


Chief Mathwig noted the challenges in providing sufficient training for a department operating 24/7 without impacting overtime; and the long-term goal in developing additional commercial patrol units to make better use of officer time and community policing efforts in working with the community’s diverse population to ensure they felt welcome and safe.  While taking a lot of resources, Chief Mathwig noted its importance and the need in specific areas of Roseville for more police resources that were not in current resource plans.


9.            Short and Long Term City Council Goals

Councilmember Pust noted that Councilmembers had also submitted their written goals, referenced below, but asked that Councilmembers reflect on the statements and goals highlighted verbally by Department Heads, not specifically their lists.


a.            Councilmember Johnson (Attachment Item 9.c, dated January 30, 2012)

Councilmember Johnson addressed comments of Community Development Director Trudgeon related to multi-family properties and problem areas, and what provisions were currently available in State Statute and City Code that could bring those properties into compliance.


In response, Mr. Trudgeon advised that here were some tools on a state level that could be utilized, noting that current HRA discussions would percolate up to the City Council level in the near future; some of those tools previously available but not used in the past.  However, Mr. Trudgeon noted that staff and the HRA were starting to hone in on some of the inadequacies, ambiguities, and inconsistencies in City Code, found through ongoing discussions among the Police, Fire and Community Development Departments as well as the HRA and the need to refine and revise those codes to be able to leverage properties.


Councilmember Johnson noted that this was also on last year’s radar, and spoke in full support of those efforts.


b.            Councilmember Willmus (Attachment Item 9.b, dated January 30, 2012)

Councilmember Willmus stated that he wasn’t sure he wanted to reflect on goals based on the three categories outlined by Councilmember Pust: control, impact, and resources.  Based on his written submission, Councilmember Willmus noted, with the local option sales tax as an example, he wasn’t sure that the goal should be set aside just because the City didn’t have complete control over it; since he was the City Council’s job to find or reallocate resources to accomplish goals and priorities.


Related to the issue of control, Councilmember Pust questioned if Councilmember Willmus agreed with City Manager Malinen for that specific goal (local option sales tax) that the City didn’t have the same level of control, and what his definition of “control,” would be.


Councilmember Willmus opined that the City did, otherwise they wouldn’t lobby the community or legislators; and further opined that the City had a higher level of control.


Councilmember Pust asked for Councilmember Willmus’ highest priorities from his list.


Councilmember Willmus noted his written submission, specifically noting his goal of re-evaluating the City’s “” “nuisance” codes and the level of detail intended in some of those code provisions.


From a process perspective, Councilmember Willmus noted his goal for resuming Council work sessions to allow more efficiencies among the City Council and staff and their interactions, rather than formal presentations at a business meeting, and allowing for more detail before making decisions.


Councilmember Willmus noted the overwhelming support around the table for the Parks renewal program and the Parks Master Plan, as well as continuation of the CIP Program; however, he noted the need for the City to be more vocal in lobbying transportation efforts in the NE metro area, to avoid being overlooked.


In addressing Mr. Miller’s comments regarding businesses, Councilmember Willmus suggested that be parlayed into a Finance Commission to look at long-range financial planning for the City, perhaps even encompassing an economic development component and utilizing business leaders in the community to help focus and maximize the City’s tax base. 


Councilmember Willmus also addressed his goal to establish a Park Board, modeled after the City’s HRA and having more direct control over their budget and funding, and providing greater clarity to the public of where their dollars were being spent.


Councilmember Willmus spoke in support of continuing to re-evaluate staffing levels and job duties, with some departments already having done so, and wishing to see that same process on the communications and administrative portions of the City.  While noting that there had been considerable discussion tonight on perception, and the survey information indicated that the City was doing things very well, Councilmember Willmus noted that in paring that down, there remained issues related to communications and marketing between the City and the public that needed to be addressed, and more transparency for residents to know where their tax dollars were going.


c.            Mayor Roe (Attachment Item 9.e, dated January 30, 2012)

Mayor Roe asked for Parks Director Brokke to address short- and long-term goals for volunteer management in his written comments and questioned him not including that as a highlighted goal in his verbal comments, given the high and potential impact to those goals.


Mr. Brokke advised that this was a carry-over from last year’s goals, but would require an additional staff person to coordinate those volunteers.  While having volunteer coordinators in the past, Mr. Brokke noted that it was difficult to retain them, and the role needed to coordinate a variety of tasks consistently.


Mayor Roe noted that this was an area of concern – retaining volunteers across the community – in a number of capacities, not just Parks and Recreation; and opined that it should remain under discussion.  Mayor Roe confirming that Mr. Brokke didn’t eliminate it from his highlights because he didn’t think it was important.


Mayor Roe reviewed his goals, based on his written submission and from the lenses outlined by Councilmember Pust: Control: Impact: and Resources.


Goal #1:  Increase efforts toward business and economic development. Mayor Roe noted the need remove perceptions of community businesses that the City did not care about them, while balancing resources among the business and residential communities.


Goal #2: Increase connectivity and improve transportation. Mayor Roe questioned how best to allocate lobbying efforts and resources to achieve the best influence and balance those resources with local control.  From the pathway perspective, Mayor Roe noted that build out for the Pathway and Parks Master Plans required substantial resources for development.


Goals #3 and 4: Support the senior community and services to those in need. Mayor Roe noted the importance of having connections through the community for seniors, as well as working partnerships with their local government.  Mayor Roe opined that both provided high impact on individual lives, and expressed his confidence that the City could manage it with available resources.


Goal #5:  Refine performance measurement system.  Mayor Roe noted that this was a difficult thing for the public to be aware of, but should be quantifiable when results were known based on perception of the community.  Mayor Roe noted that City Manager Malinen had been attempting to implement that concept into how the City did its business.


Goal #6:  Support civic engagement efforts.  Mayor Roe noted that this also fit into Local Government Management, but how and how much from a resource perspective still needed to be determined.


d.            Councilmember Johnson, continued (Attachment Item 9.c, dated January 30, 2012)

Related to Control, Impact, and Resources, Councilmember Johnson noted that all the items on his written submission remained relevant. 


Regarding continuing the CIP Task Force, Councilmember Johnson noted that some of the items remained to be completed: Parks and Fire Station capital needs, since they were both pending last year when the original CIP was developed. 

Councilmember Johnson noted that the Street Replacement Program had a deficit  coming in four (4) years and would have great economic impact if the City didn’t meet that goal; with a strategy needed to be put in place this year to gain momentum in correcting it.


Councilmember Johnson referenced the recent in-depth and thoughtful presentation by Ms. Sarah Barsel and the need to support education and assistance for the community’s senior population based on those efforts to-date and as projected, opining that there were already numerous and great resources already compiled and further pursuit would be money well-spent.


Councilmember Johnson stated his preference in maintaining parity for employee pay and compensation in upcoming budget strategies.


Councilmember Johnson noted the need to pursue better connections between local government and community businesses, opining that he hadn’t seen a lot of improvement to-date.


   Councilmember Johnson spoke in favor of pursuing a pooled local sales tax increase. Councilmember Johnson stated that this sales tax will compensate the city from people who are not Roseville residents and frequent the city causing wear and tear on infrastructure. Johnson also stated that additional tax dollars would help to defer property tax payments from Roseville home owners as they could be used to pay off the Fire House and Parks Improvement bonding.


Councilmember Johnson noted the need to increase long term communication efforts by keeping it fluid, not just accomplishing it in surges.  Councilmember Johnson noted past requests of the City Council’s advisory commissions in commenting on the Imagine Roseville 2025 visioning goals and whether it was still relevant; and questioned if that process was being followed through with.  Councilmember Johnson opined that this provided an opportunity for them to keep a stake in the process.


e.            Councilmember McGehee (Attachment Item 9.d, dated January 30, 2012)

Councilmember McGehee addressed her short-term goals, referencing her written submission, stressing communication, civic engagement, and diversification of the tax based. Councilmember McGehee addressed the need for civic engagement beyond advisory commissions, but through task forces for specific projects; opining that on many issues, the City didn’t need to vet participants on those task forces through an application process, but allow an open forum of whoever had comments, allowing for more brainstorming and broader participation


Regarding long-term goals from her written submission, Councilmember McGehee opined that the City needed to set an example through updating its codes and to model sustainability for the City’s environmental protection and green initiatives, which it had failed to do with the fire station project. 


Councilmember McGehee opined that it was vital that the City Council have all the necessary information and invite public comment, before making decisions or implementing goals.  Councilmember McGehee stated that she felt disappointed and saddened this past year, because on many occasions, citizens had come forward to provide input, but the City Council failed to listen.  She advised that from a customer service standpoint, she would like to see that change.


Regarding the local option sales tax, Councilmember McGehee noted that 30% of the City’s housing stock was rental units, and those tenants would not get any tax benefit if the local option sales tax was implemented, but would pay extra when making purchases in their own community.


f.             Councilmember Pust (Attachment Item 9.a, dated January 30, 2012)

Beyond her written submission, Councilmember Pust chose not to respond, as most of those goals were already mentioned by others tonight.


Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at approximately 8:11 p.m. and reconvened at approximately 8:19 p.m.


10.         Discussion, Conclusion and Direction

Councilmember Willmus sought the opinion of Department Heads on the idea of work sessions.


Community Development Director Trudgeon spoke in full support of work sessions, while noting that during his tenure they had not been done.  However, Mr. Trudgeon spoke in support of the opportunity for additional dialogue and presentation at that level, without decision-making, that would serve to streamline the process, and allow for questions and clarifications to be addressed in that less formal setting, allowing for different types of business meetings.


Finance Director Miller concurred with those comments; and reiterated comments he had previously made that preliminary discussions should allow the City Council to take action at their meeting, often on Consent.  Mr. Miller noted that often topics are not conducive to that now, but if the City Council had the discipline to hammer out discussions at a work session, and then not repeat those discussions or debates at a business meeting, work sessions could be a great and effective tool.


Fire Chief O’Neill concurred, noting that currently staff often felt rushed and unable to sufficiently interact with Councilmembers at a business meeting, and preferred conversation not just presentations.


Parks and Recreation Director Brokke spoke in support of work sessions as a good and less formal opportunity for conversation around the table.


Police Chief Mathwig spoke in support of work sessions; however, he opined that he lacked information from his tenure on how they used to work.


Public Works Director Schwartz concurred with the work session concept; allowing for more conversations, ability to answer questions, and if necessary, come back with additional information for the City Council before taking action and for better informed decision-making.


Local Government Management, Economic health, Stable Property Taxes (Survey Results of those items needing more attention)

Councilmember Pust questioned if everyone at the table agreed or didn’t agree with those survey results, and whether those items needed more work in the community.


Mayor Roe opined that, while not the only gauge, all input from the community should be considered from all sources, including general interaction with the public or any other civic engagement participation opportunities.


Councilmember Willmus opined that he did not have 100% faith in the validity of the survey and it accurately representing the community.  However, he further opined that the responses may also be indicative of the type of questions asked.  Councilmember Willmus suggested future surveys providing more detail, such as that used by the City of Shoreview.


Councilmember McGehee concurred with Councilmember Willmus, and moving forward expressed her preference to use a model similar to that used by Shoreview and compared with other metropolitan communities, with follow-up every three (3) years to measure outcomes.


At the request of Mayor Roe, City Manager Malinen advised that the cost of the Decision Resources firm for a survey was $25,000 compared with $10,000 for Cobalt.  Mayor Roe noted that the decision was made on a cost basis, whether it reflected the community as a whole or not.


Councilmember Johnson opined that he found the government portion of the survey irrelevant, since in his personal conversations with citizens  he had never heard someone express their concern with the status of City investments or assets, specific funds or how they were doing.  However, Councilmember Johnson concurred with the communications portion of the survey results, encouraging the best communication with customers as humanly possible.


Mayor Roe requested that City Manager Malinen provide Councilmembers and staff with a breakdown of the local government portion of the survey for further review and specific feedback.


Councilmember Pust questioned if there were any comments on the economic health or tax stability portions of the survey, with no one responding.



Councilmember Pust referenced Mayor Roe’s January 28, 2012 e-mail and DRAFT “Outcome” summary, emphasizing its draft form; and for the public’s benefit, read those community aspirations as drafted by Mayor Roe (Item 4), and references and links identified by summarized by Councilmember McGehee in her e-mail to City Manager Malinen dated January 26, 2012 (Item 9.d).  Councilmember Pust sought any additional items to include or any items to be removed from individuals around the table.


Councilmember Pust suggested “economic health” and “stability of property taxes” be added to the list from the survey, but not “local government management.”


Discussion included, whether “tax stability” fell under “economic health,” or was a community aspiration; whether to include it with the list of “responsible economic endeavors under the last aspiration; relationship to the community in general and how best to connect it; assuming opportunities or ways to finance goals as an aspiration to be engaged; and how to best market it to encourage and facilitate, as a City Council and City government, implementation and methods to allow those things to happen.


It was the consensus to add this as a separate aspiration:

“Economically Healthy with a Stable Tax Base.”


Councilmember Pust suggested that, with some minor tweaking, this DRAFT document prepared by Mayor Roe could become an accurate reflection of what had been learned from the community and what the City Council wanted to accomplish, as culminating from a variety of sources.  With consensus of the group, Councilmember Pust volunteered to tweaking the document based on tonight’s discussion and meeting notes, to be re-presented in modified format in the near future to facilitate further discussion or approval.  By doing so, Councilmember Pust noted that this would allow something for individual reactions and make more efficient use of everyone’s time.


By consensus, this process was approved.


Process and Substance

As the next step following those revisions, Councilmember Pust advised that she would submit those revisions to individuals through City Manager Malinen seeking their comments or items inadvertently missed; allowing a good final document.


Councilmember Pust suggested that the group not meet next week, but allow sufficient time at their February 13, 2012 meeting, based on the estimated agenda time available from City Manager Malinen; with Councilmembers holding themselves accountable to accomplish the tasks at hand and commit to finishing the document.


Discussion ensued on future meeting agendas; preference to accomplish the task sooner rather than later; the obvious lack of controversy in discussions while having realistic goals to ensure them coming to fruition; and seeking input from staff on the reality of staff’s available hours and staffing resources based on those aspirations. 


At the request of Mayor Roe regarding the actual work plan, Councilmember Pust opined that it would flow from this initial list, once prioritized, and once money, human resources and capacity for control were addressed within that list.


Councilmember Johnson opined that the three (3) criteria identified by Councilmember Pust were crucial in moving forward, and suggested an alternate meeting date be designated if needed.


Mayor Roe suggested that February 13, 2012 should be the committed date, and advised that he would work with City Manager Malinen on that meeting agenda.


11.         Adjourn

Johnson moved, Pust seconded, adjourning the meeting at approximately 8:44 pm. Motion carried unanimously.