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City Council


City Council Meeting Minutes

August 27, 2012
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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: Pust; McGehee; Willmus; Johnson; and Roe).  City Attorney Mark Gaughan was also present.  City Manager Malinen was unable to attend tonight’s meeting due to illness; Finance Director Chris Miller served in his place for the meeting.


2.         Approve Agenda

Mayor Roe noted that staff had requested removal of Agenda Item 12.b entitled, “Request to Perform an Abatement for Unresolved Violations of City Code at 2486 Marion Street;” as the violations had been resolved with the property owner.


Mayor Roe noted, at the suggestion of staff and due to the topic and length of tonight’s agenda, that Item 13.a entitled, “Discuss Twin Lakes AUAR,” be removed from tonight’s agenda and added to a future agenda.


Councilmember McGehee requested removal for discussion of Consent Item 7.f entitled, “Consider Request by MidAmerica Auctions for Interim Use of Outdoor Storage of Motor Vehicles at 2755 Long Lake Road.”


Johnson moved, Willmus seconded, the agenda as amended.


Roll Call

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

            Nays: None.


3.         Public Comment

Mayor Roe called for public comment by members of the audience on any non-agenda items.  No one appeared to speak at this time.


4.            Council Communications, Reports, Announcements and Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) Report

Mayor Roe announced that he had been privileged to attend and speak at a recent deployment of twenty-five (25) members of the 147th Finance Detachment at Inver Hills Community College.


Councilmember Johnson, in his role as Roseville City Council liaison to the Northwest Youth & Family Services (NYFS), and currently serving as Chair of that organization, announced their annual Taste of Northwest event scheduled for September 27, 2012 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m., with 100% of the ticket sales ($30 in advance or $40 at the door) going toward funding and support of the NYFS.


Councilmember McGehee, in her personal effort to ensure accurate communication by the City, opined that the most recent City newsletter’s front page erroneously stated that the City had actually saved money by bypassing a voter referendum to consider construction of a new fire station and park improvements.  Councilmember McGehee opined that had the City chosen to have a voter referendum versus their choice to use its Port Authority power to issue the bonds, there would have been no changes in cost for a bond issue.  Councilmember McGehee further opined that another portion of the article stating that the court had sided with the City was misleading, since the Court of Appeals chose not to hear the case since the citizen group was unable to post a surety bond in the amount required to do so.


5.         Recognitions, Donations, Communications


            a.         Minnesota Recreation and Parks Award of Excellence for Volunteer Initia-


Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Jill Anfang introduced Mr. Jared Flewellen, MRPA Representative and Recreation Coordinator with the City of Hastings.  Mr. Flewellen provided a brief history of the Awards of Excellence Program to recognize notable projects and programs.  Mr. Flewellen presented the award to Mayor Roe on behalf of the City’s Parks and Recreation Program; and recognized Roseville volunteers and Parks and Recreation staff for their tireless work to facilitate the Master Plan process.


Johnson moved, McGehee seconded, authorizing the acceptance of the Minnesota Recreation and Parks Association 2011 Award of Excellence for Volunteer Initiatives for the Parks and Recreation Master Plan Renewal Program in the Volunteer Initiatives category.


Roll Call

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

            Nays: None.


On behalf of the community and City Council, Mayor Roe accepted the award and echoed comments of staff and volunteers during this process.


Councilmember Willmus commended staff for their “hands-off” approach throughout this process, allowing it to be community- and citizen-driven; and creating a great process. 


6.         Approve Minutes

Comments and corrections to draft minutes had been submitted by the City Council prior to tonight’s meeting and those revisions were incorporated into the draft presented in the Council packet.


a.            Approve Minutes of August 17, 2012 Meeting

Willmus moved, Johnson seconded, approval of the minutes of the August 17, 2012 meeting as amended.



·         Page 1, line 9 (Roe)

Even though Councilmembers Pust and McGehee were not in attendance at the meeting; Mayor Roe noted that they should be included in the meeting’s Roll Call.

Roll Call

            Ayes: Willmus; Johnson; and Roe. 

            Nays: None.

Abstentions: Pust; McGehee.

Motion carried.


b.            Approve Minutes of August 20, 2012 Meeting



·         Page 6, line 36 (McGehee)

Typographical error: correct “rationale” to “rational”


Johnson moved, Willmus seconded, approval of the minutes of the August 20, 2012 meeting as amended.


Roll Call         
McGehee; Willmus; and Johnson.    

            Nays: None.

Abstentions: Pust; Roe

Motion carried.


7.            Approve Consent Agenda

There were no additional changes to the Consent Agenda than those previously noted.  At the request of Mayor Roe, Acting City Manager Chris Miller briefly reviewed those items being considered under the Consent Agenda.


a.            Approve Payments

McGehee moved, Johnson seconded, approval of the following claims and payments as presented.


ACH Payments







Roll Call

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

            Nays: None.


b.            Approve Business and Other Licenses

McGehee moved, Johnson seconded, approval of license applications for the following applicants:



Type of License

Brent Turner at Bodyflow Massage; 2819 Hamline Avenue N, Suite 112

Massage Therapist

Junting He at Chinese Tui Na Massage; 10 Rosedale Center

Massage Therapist

Frances Diaz, Jessica Butler, Kristen Bloomgren, and Lori Jorgenson at Massage Envy Roseville; 2480 Fairview Avenue

Massage Therapist

Colleen & Company; 3092 Lexington Avenue N

Massage Therapy



Saint Rose of Lima Catholic Church; 2048 Hamline Avenue N

Temporary On-Sale Liquor License

Saint Rose of Lima Catholic Church; 2048 Hamline Avenue N

Exempt Gambling Permit


Roll Call

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

            Nays: None.


c.            Approve General Purchases and Sale of Surplus Items in Excess of $5,000.

McGehee moved, Johnson seconded, approval of the following purchases and/or contracts for service:







Municipal Emergency Services

Turnout Gear – 29 sets



Allied Blacktop

Parking Lot and Pathway Pavement Treatment



Pipe Services

Televise Sanitary Sewer Mainline



Roll Call

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

            Nays: None.


d.            Certify Unpaid Utility and Other Charges to the Property Tax Rolls

McGehee moved, Johnson seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11000 (Attachment A) entitled, “Resolution Directing the County Auditor to Levy Unpaid Water, Sewer and Other City Charges for Payable 2013 or Beyond.”

Roll Call

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

            Nays: None.


e.            Approve Court Data Service Subscriber Amendment: Inclusion of Integrated Search Services to Minnesota Criminal Justice Data Communications Network Subscriber Agreement

McGehee moved, Johnson seconded, approval between the City of Roseville and the State of Minnesota, acting through its Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) for an amendment to the CJDN Court Data Services Subscriber Agreement (Attachment A); and authorizing execution of the Agreement by the Mayor and City Manager.


Roll Call

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

            Nays: None.


g.            Approve Reappointment of Youth Commissioners to Human Rights Commission

          McGehee moved, Johnson seconded, reappointment of Joan Dao and Marie Siliciano to serve at Youth Commissioners on the Human Rights Commission (HRC) for a term expiring August 31, 2013.


Roll Call

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

            Nays: None.


h.            Approve Resolution Awarding Bid for Fairview Pathway Project – Phase II (a/k/a Northeast Suburban Campus Connector Bike / Pedestrian Project – Phase II)

McGehee moved, Johnson seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11001 (Attachment A) entitled, “Resolution Awarding Bids for Fairview Pathway Project – Phase II);” awarding bid to T. A. Schifsky & Sons, Inc. of No. St. Paul, MN in an amount not to exceed $583,392.63.


Roll Call

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

            Nays: None.


8.            Consider Items Removed from Consent


f.             Consider Request by MidAmerica Auctions for Interim Use of Outdoor Storage of Motor Vehicles at 2755 Long Lake Road

At the request of Mayor Roe and Acting City Manager Miller, Community Development Director Patrick Trudgeon provided a brief review of this request, as detailed in the Request for Council Action (RCA) dated August 27, 2012.


Councilmember McGehee noted the current condition of the site, and questioned if any resurfacing of the lot or other improvements on the site were intended; as well as if auction activities were planned to be held in the building.


Mr. Trudgeon responded that the intent was for storage and office space in the building; as well as painting the building and some landscaping by the applicant; however, he was not aware of any plans to resurface the lot at this time.


Councilmember McGehee referenced Section 5.1 in the RCA, noting that the Interim Use had a specific end date; and questioned whether there were ways the City could rescind or discontinue the Permit before that end date if a better use was found for the property.


Mr. Trudgeon advised that revocation of a land use, including Interim Use Permits, were subject to remaining in compliance with City code.  However, since the City itself did not own the subject property, he would be hesitant to consider a better use for the property and revoke the Interim Use Permit on those grounds.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that the applicant was purchasing the parcel.


Mr. Trudgeon noted a typographical error on the resolution, page 2, line 45 that should read “11:59 p.m.,” rather than “12:59 p.m.”


Councilmember McGehee opined that some contracts with the City seemed to be one-sided with multiple ways for the other party to get out, but little option for the City.  While having no intention of seeking their demise, Councilmember McGehee further opined that five (5) years was a considerable length of time, and questioned whether it made sense to include a condition that if some higher use for the entire area came forward that the Interim Use could be removed.


Mr. Trudgeon opined that, without knowing what a potential higher or better use may be, the only alternative would be to shorten the term of the Interim Use Permit. 


Mayor Roe noted a condition already recommended by staff in the RCA that the Interim Use Permit would expire anytime within the five (5) year timeframe if the property changed ownership or if they ceased to use it for the intended purpose outlined in their application.


McGehee moved, Willmus seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11002 (Attachment G) entitled, “A Resolution Approving Outdoor Storage of Motor Vehicles as an Interim Use at 2755 Long Lake Road (PF12-010);” as amended, line 45, with the expiration time of 11:59 p.m. on August 27, 2017.


Roll Call

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

            Nays: None.


12.         General Ordinances for Adoption


13.         Presentations


a.            Ramsey- Washington Metro Watershed District (R-WMWD) Presentation

City Engineer Debra Bloom introduced Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District Administrator Clifton J. Aichinger.  The R-WMWD recently absorbed the former Grass Lakes Water Management Organization (GLWMO) into its geographical and special taxing district, upon dissolution of the GLWMO.


Mr. Aichinger noted that current R-WMWD Board Members were: Roger Lake from White Bear Lake; Paul Ellefson and Jack Frost from Maplewood; Bob Johnson from St. Paul; and Pam Skinner from Oakdale.


Mr. Aichinger provided a district overview and background of the R-WMWD and its current fourteen (14) member staff; reviewed the new geographical boundaries of the R-WMWD, with the addition of the former GLWMO; and drainage areas encompassed by the District.  Mr. Aichinger noted the R-WMWD’s formation in 1975, originally to address major flooding and erosion problem in Battle Creek; and now including fifty-six (56) square miles in part or all of ten (10) member cities.  Mr. Aichinger noted that the District’s ten-year plans continued to identify major issues and concerns of the District’s residents and member communities.


Mr. Aichinger noted the process being followed to incorporate the GLWMO area in the legal boundary of the District, and referencing that incorporation in order to make funds available for cost-share work; and previous work of the GLWMO Board in approval by the MPCA for watershed protection and restoration plans for area lakes, as well as a TMD for Bennett Lake.  Mr. Aichinger advised that the District’s work plan had been modified with the MPCA to incorporate that proposed work. 

Mr. Aichinger reviewed the vision and core principles of the R-WMWD; with the plans referencing capital needs to address water quality and flood control efforts throughout the area.  Mr. Aichinger reviewed goals of the R-WMWD in more detail to address major issues and concerns; and district activities and program areas in response to those issues and concerns. 


Mr. Aichinger reviewed the District’s budget history of approximately $6 million to $7 million annually; and an average levy of $4 million throughout the member cities; however, he anticipated a higher levy next year due to the increased geographical boundaries, with the capital needs portion of the budget versus the general fund representing the majority of those potential increased.  Mr. Aichinger noted that, as with most business entities, personnel costs represented the largest area of spending of the organization.


Mr. Aichinger reviewed sources of funds, including Special Taxing Districts shown on property tax statements in the “Special Taxing District” area, along with other special taxing areas; and anticipated with the addition of the GLWMO area, the upcoming levy would was estimated at 3.3% of a typical property tax bill.  Mr. Aichinger noted that other funding sources included grant applications and cost-share opportunities with member cities and other agencies.


Mr. Aichinger reviewed the R-WMWD’s management approach; current major projects and programs;


Goals; major issues and concerns; district activities/program areas responding to those issues and concerns (e.g. Kohlman Lake TMDL Implementation, including the Maplewood Mall retrofit project to reduce runoff; watershed-based TMDL study and WMP Update; Carp control research and management; Best Management Practice incentive cost-share programs; Maplewood “Living Streets” project; and Keller Lake lakeshore restoration). 


Mr. Aichinger reviewed the merger implementation process in absorbing the GLWMO area, with the Board of Water and Soil Review approving the merger on June 27, 2012, at which time it was certified by the Secretary of State; and current legal description process to Ramsey County to incorporate those GLWMO parcels in the R-WMWD for the 2013 levy; with the District’s rules not applicable until after a R-WMWD plan amendment in 2013.


Councilmember Johnson welcomed Mr. Aichinger; and addressed the recent U of MN Carp Project by Dr. Sorenson as he observed on public television, specifically on Travis Lake on the Spoon Lake chain.  Councilmember Johnson opined that it showed astounding results; and questioned if that study had directed R-WMWD to remediate issues with carp; and if so, what that action had been.


Mr. Aichinger responded affirmatively, advising that the District was moving toward the implementation phase to control migration and reproduction of carp; and noted that it was typical for carp to reproduce in shallow wetlands rather than a lake in order to avoid predator fish (Blue Gills).  Mr. Aichinger advised that strategies for lakes included winter seining, removal of adult females, and trap netting in upstream reservoirs.  Mr. Aichinger advised that the first year of testing on carp population indicated their successful reproduction, creating a need to provide barriers to avoid their migration into those wetland areas, or to enhance the Blue Gill infiltration in a lake (e.g. bubble barriers) with some mitigation efforts successful and others less successful.


Councilmember Johnson stated that it was encouraging to hear that responsible steps were being taken for area lakes.


Councilmember McGehee welcomed Mr. Aichinger; and expressed her excitement in what could be accomplished through the merger of the R-WMWD and the GLWMO with a larger watershed area.  Councilmember McGehee referenced the implementation by the R-WMWD of its “Green Streets” project between Minnehaha Avenue and Stillwater Road east of McKnight Road.  Councilmember McGehee questioned what happened to the carp netted.


Mr. Aichinger advised that the netting was done by commercial fisherman; and there was a market for it as food, particularly in the Asian market and for other food products.


At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Aichinger reported on some lake impairments or problems with consuming fish from those lakes, basically confined to a mercury advisory consumption alert on some lakes, but most impaired for nutrients; and PH levels handled state-wide and basically created by an airborne issue, and nutrient issues handled locally.  Mr. Aichinger advised that there were currently no impairments for 3-coli or other nutrients.


Mayor Roe thanked Mr. Aichinger for attending tonight’s meeting and his introductory comments; and expressed the City’s interest in working with the R-WMWD in the future.


14.         Public Hearings


a.            Receive Community Input on the 2013 Budget and Tax Levy

Finance Director Chris Miller provided a revised RCA dated August 27, 2012

Prior to Mayor Roe opening the Public Hearing, Finance Director Miller briefly presented a brief review of discussion topics for the 2013 Budget, including a Budget Process Chronology; Budget Impact Items; Budget Summary; Property Tax Levy Impact; Local Tax Rate Comparisons; and Utility Rate Impacts.


Mr. Miller noted that the preliminary 2013 budget had been adopted in December of 2011 as part of the City’s first biennial budget process; with a revised City Manager-recommended Budget presented to the City Council at their August 13, 2012 meeting.  Mr. Miller provided future key dates related to the budget process:

September 10, 2012  =       City Council adoption of a Preliminary, Not-to-

                                      Exceed 2013 Tax Levy

December 3, 2012    =       Truth in Taxation Public Hearing

December 10, 2012   =       City Council adoption of the Final 2013 Tax

                                      Levy and 2013 Budget


Mr. Miller addressed 2013 Budget Impact Items, including the City Council’s commitment to community identified goals and priorities; a strong desire to achieve financial sustainability; continued emphasis on capital replacement needs; and new obligations or planned initiatives.


Budget impact items: commitment to community goals and priorities (e.g. Imagine Roseville 2025 goals and strategies; City Council long-and short-term objectives; community surveys); strong desire to achieve financial sustainability (e.g. uphold Council-adopted financial and budget policies; continued emphasis on providing adequate funding for existing programs and services before considering new ones; and adhering to a long-term Performance Management Program recently adopted); continued emphasis on capital replacement needs (e.g. reducing and/or eliminating the funding gap of $2 million annually through the 20-year Capital Improvement Plan); new obligations or planned initiatives; all detailed in the RCA.


Mr. Miller reviewed some strategies for closing the CIP gap including re-purposing expiring debt levies toward capital needs; increase property taxes; and/or eliminate facilities and amenities.


The new obligations or planned initiatives not previously identified in the preliminary 2013 budget include:

Police and Fire Dispatch costs         =       $66,720

Fire Relief Pension Obligation          =         45,000

Human Resources Software (HRIS) =         40,000*

Implement Compensation Study      =         50,000

Additional Staff (IT/License Center) =       130,000**

Employee COLA and Step Increases =       240,000

Healthcare Premium Increases       =          55,000

Inflationary increases

          (e.g. supplies, maintenance,

          Contractual services, etc.)   =       120,000


*Mr. Miller referenced comment “a)” on page 2, line 38 of the RCA, with the net cost for the HRIS software at$40,000, with $20,000 proposed to come from reserves.


**Mr. Miller advised that additional staffing costs for the City’s Information Technology (IT) and License Center would be covered by fees for member cities for IT under Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) language; and staffing for the License Center would be absorbed by additional revenue from that enterprise.  Mr. Miller advised that staffing at the License Center had been reduced, with a vacant position left since 2008 when economic conditions impacted everyone.  Mr. Miller reiterated that these additional staffing needs would create no increased cost to residents; and that the increased volume at the License Center would be more than sufficient to pay for filling that position; and as noted, no additional taxpayer costs for the IT position either.


Mr. Miller advised that the 2% proposed COLA was on track with peer communities as they settled contracts; and should be sufficient to keep the City within the marketplace and retain its employee base.  Mr. Miller further noted that an increase of 5% in healthcare was anticipated.


At the request of Mayor Roe regarding Budget Impacts related to the 20-year CIP funding gap and information displayed, Mr. Miller clarified that the $43 million funding gap is what remains after last year’s increased funding; since that original gap was closer to $100 million.


At the request of Mayor Roe regarding the New Obligations or Planned Activities, Mr. Miller clarified that those were not anticipated when the two-year budget was developed in 2011.


At the request of Councilmember McGehee regarding the amount of new impacts not previously identified or specifically budgeted for, as noted above and on page 2 of the RCA, Mr. Miller clarified that they were identified on page 2 of the RCA, in the amount of $201,720, less $20,000 needed for on-going costs to be funded by additional tax levy in 2013, for a net difference of $181,720.


Continuing with his presentation, Mr. Miller summarized the 2013 budget proposed at $43.7 million; with $20.0 million in tax-supported funds; and representing a spending increase in the tax-supported fund of $613,591 or 3.2%; and a Preliminary Tax Levy at $17,169,935, an increase of $2,297,641 or 14.8%, and currently excluding the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) Levy.


At the request of Councilmember Willmus regarding debt service allocation for the Park Renewal Program and new Fire Station, Mr. Miller advised that the total financing package was for $27 million, with the first $20 million ($8 million for the Fire Station; $19 million for the Park Renewal Program) in place, with $560,000 debt service coming on line the first year, in 2014.


While impacts will vary based on home values and changes in that value since 2012, for a median single-family home in Roseville, Mr. Miller advised that values were declining on average by 8.7%, with those homes paying $739 for City taxes in 2013; an increase of $4 per year, or $4.57 per month; with the proposed HRA Levy resulting in an additional $1.28 per month.


In comparing local tax rates with peer communities from 1995 – 2011 (e.g. metropolitan area cities with a population greater than 10,000), Mr. Miller noted that Roseville continued to be below average.  However, Mr. Miller further noted that this was in part to Roseville not investing in its capital needs for a number of years while other communities were doing so.


At the request of Councilmember Pust, Mr. Miller advised that, while many assumptions were in play, factoring in the City’s debt service on bonds, the City will move closer to the average, reflected in the renewed investment in capital needs; however, it still shouldn’t approach the highest average among peer cities.


In conclusion, Mr. Miller addressed utility rate impacts to address the 20-yaer water and sewer infrastructure needs estimated at $66 million, with only $22 million in available funding, leaving a funding gap of $44 million.  Mr. Miller referenced the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) Task Force created by the City Council with representatives of the City Council and staff to address and make recommendations on that funding gap.  Mr. Miller noted that, in 2011, the City Council had chosen to apply the proposed utility fee increase over a two (2) year period as opposed to all in one (1) year; with half applied in 2012, and 2013 as the final year for phasing the rate increases in on base water and sewer rates for single-family homes city-wide.  Mr. Miller noted that an increase of $6.23 per month was already in place as implemented in 2012, with an additional $6.22 per month slated for 2013.  Mr. Miller noted that following that final phase-in in 2013, thereafter only inflationary increases would occur to those rates, as recommended by the CIP Task Force.


Mr. Miller reviewed other utility rate impacts, not within the control of the City of Roseville, including an estimated increase of 4-6% for purchasing water from the City of St. Paul Costs for purchasing water from City of SP; an estimated increase of 4-5% for wastewater treatment costs from the Metropolitan Council; and other inflationary impacts.  Mr. Miller advised that, for a typical single-family home in Roseville, this would result in an additional increase of $0.59 per month for water/sewer operations; for a combined total impact of fees and inflationary increase of $6.81 per month.


Using the peer group comparison again for first ring suburbs with a with stand-alone systems and having a population of between 18,000 and 50,000, Mr. Miller noted that Roseville’s water rates were higher than average, but its sewer rates were lower than average, with Roseville then remaining near average.


Since this was to be the first opportunity for the public to comment on the 2013 budget, Mayor Roe reiterated subsequent opportunities in September and December; as well as encouraging individuals to contact Councilmembers or staff with their questions at any time during the process.


Mayor Roe reviewed guidelines for public comment; and asked that speakers be respectful of the time they took to provide their feedback to allow others to speak; as well as respecting the other business needing to come before the City Council yet tonight. Mayor Roe advised that questions raised during public comment would be addressed by staff after all speakers had been heard, but if the information was not immediately available, staff would respond as that information became available.


Mayor Roe opened the Public Hearing at approximately 7:16 p.m.


Public Comment

Dick Houck, 1131 Roselawn Avenue

Mr. Houck opined that the City Council was already aware that many people in Roseville were living on a fixed income or no income; and needed to live on a budget as individual Councilmembers and staff did with their personal finances.  Mr. Houck noted that, if you overspent on those budgets, you went bankrupt; and this was obvious to everyone.  However, for some reason, Mr. Houck alleged that when individuals became “public servants,” an often misunderstood term, it seemed to become easier to simply grab money from taxpayers, while those taxpayers living on fixed incomes had to do without.  Mr. Houck further alleged that the City Council was at least partially responsible for making them do that; opining that they were already living on as much as they could afford, and when the City took more, they had even less.  Mr. Houck opined that the government seemed to have no sense of doing without, but simply going for more money and continuing to take more money from those not having it to give.  Mr. Houck strongly encouraged the City Council to figure out how to live within its income, stating that “this has to stop, we’re going broke, and cities are as well, when spending more money than we can afford to give you.  Mr. Houck opined that it was embarrassing for him to have to tell the City Council this fact; however, someone has to say it.


Karen Schaffer, 2100 Fairview Avenue

Ms. Schaffer expressed appreciation for the tremendous amount of detail provided in this proposed budget documentation.  While not claiming to understand each line item, Ms. Schaffer advised that she had several questions of the City Council and/or staff, and for their consideration moving forward.  Ms. Schaffer opined that the proposed tax levy was high from her perspective and somewhat startling, since the City of Duluth was proposing less than 2%; and while Duluth and Roseville were completely different cities, this presented a pretty stark difference.


Recognizing the City had been under-investing in its infrastructure for a number of years and thus keeping the Levy down, Ms. Schaffer asked if the peer cities used for comparison purposes at populations of 10,000 or more was the correct peer group to use.  Ms. Schaffer noted that this group included many relatively small communities with relatively few taxpayers or a similar commercial tax base.  Ms. Schaffer opined that it would be natural for the City of Roseville, when compared to that peer group, to always look good; and wondered if the comparison would be better informed if compared to other municipalities like Roseville (e.g. age of housing and infrastructure mix) rather than just by population.  Ms. Schaffer opined that this comparison based on population alone seemed to have a weakness, while using other criteria may prove that Roseville is not that far below that peer group as was thought, and may actually meet or exceed that average in 2013.  Ms. Schaffer recognized that determining who was in a particular peer group was a huge decision; however, she opined that it did certainly affect comparisons.


Noting that other units of government, in a deflationary environment, had refused to increase their contracts, Ms. Schaffer questioned if the City of Roseville required their vendors across the board to continue to operate from that perspective.  Ms. Schaffer opined that the inflationary increases projected, while interest rates continued to deflate or remain stagnant, didn’t add up.


Ms. Schaffer recommended that the City do more integrated decision-making beyond the work done on the CIP program; and recognizing that the Park Renewal Program and new Fire Station were in process.  Ms. Schaffer questioned if all areas of the City and all departments were advocating at their full potential; and suggested using integrated views and trade-offs needed with capital needs; and prioritizing those needs accordingly.  Ms. Schaffer opined that the her perception was that each need seemed to stand on its own when in reality they competed with each other; and priorities for the overall system would be more prudent.


In conclusion, Ms. Schaffer stated that she was taken aback by the size of the proposed tax increase; and concerned with the current decision-making processes.


Vivian Ramalingam, 2181 Acorn Road

Ms. Ramalingam concurred with the last few statements made by Ms. Schaffer about the apparent lack of coordination between various elements and expenditures.  Ms. Ramalingam opined that it was reasonable to think that these decisions were not under the purview of only one person, the City Manager.  Ms. Ramalingam opined that it was unfortunate that City Manager Malinen was not present at tonight’s meeting, as she had several questions to ask him; and he was apparently the person to whom those questions and concerns should be addressed.  Ms. Ramalingam opined that her concerns were very serious and the impacts of the proposed budget were costly.


Tom Schroud, 1142 Rose Place

Mr. Schroud noted that, while he had heard the many budget increases proposed, he had heard nothing on any spending cuts for 2013; and questioned if that was due to them not being significant enough to mention.


Mr. Schroud had several questions:

1)    Mr. Schroud noted that water and sewer base rates increased by 60-65% to pay for “new things;” and he considered that regressive taxation.  Mr. Schroud stated that this was hitting the poorest people the hardest by increasing the base rate; and suggested instead that strong consideration be given to cutting the base rate and increasing service fees, so those using the service paid for it.  Mr. Schroud opined that those trying to save every penny could do little to reduce their expenses when the base rate was raised.

2)    Mr. Schroud opined that a position at the License Center had been vacant since 2008 and the City had gotten by so far, maybe another position should be eliminated.  To suggest that the City was losing income by cutting a person was, in Mr. Schroud’s opinion, “stupid.”  Mr. Schroud opined that there were not enough additional Roseville residents or businesses in the City that would justify increased staffing at the License Center; and if the City had gotten by so far, he suggested that it continue to do so.


With no one else from the public appearing to speak to the 2013 Budget, Mayor Roe closed the Public Hearing at approximately 7:33 p.m.


Mayor Roe thanked residents for their comments; and reiterated the additional opportunities coming up over the next few months.


In an attempt to clarify several comments, Mayor Roe noted that License Center staffing was not based on more staff equaling more income; but more work requiring more staff; and generation of income with more transactions being processed.


Regarding comparisons based on the current peer group, Mayor Roe suggested that this suggestion made sense for further review and discussion by the City Council at a future meeting.


For clarification, Councilmember Johnson asked staff to address how peer cities had been identified; and to address allegations made that those cities were not similar to Roseville.


Finance Director Miller advised that this peer group was that commonly used for comparison purposes throughout the metropolitan area and included all cities in the metropolitan area of 10,000 or more in population.  Mr. Miller concurred that that peer group did not necessary provide similar situations to infrastructure condition and age, housing stock age and mix; and that at the City Council’s direction tighter criteria for a comparison group could be arranged for over time.  Mr. Miller advised that the data currently used for this peer group had been established by the League of Minnesota Cities (LMC) for common comparison data from city to city.


At the request of Councilmember Willmus, Mr. Miller advised that the source for that data was by a third party provided to the LMC; with the LMC encapsulating that information.


Mr. Miller advised that, if a different comparison group was preferred outside the LMC service, it would obviously be more labor intensive than the current data group used, but staff would be willing to facilitate gathering that information if the City Council wished to explore such an option.


Mayor Roe noted that the City Council would need to consider cost versus benefit in considering another option.


b.            Budget Discussion

Mayor Roe sought initial City Council feedback on the proposed City-Manager recommended 2013 Budget in light of the not-to-exceed preliminary adoption at the September 10, 2012 meeting. 


Councilmember Pust asked, for the next discussion, and as detailed on page 2 of the RCA listing the four (4) new items adding up to $181, 720 over and above the preliminary 2013 budget set in December of 2011; a corresponding chart showing what requests were funded by department at the request of each Department Head during the interim, but were not actually processed as they were found not to be needed, and subsequently cut from expenditures versus those requested by Department Heads but not included in the City Manager-recommended budget, as considered not high enough in priority in the overall scheme.  In other words, did the City Manager-recommended budget include the entire Department Head “wish list” or were there things that didn’t make the final cut.  Councilmember Pust advised that she would like further clarification and narrative from City Manager Malinen on those items; as well as savings from planned expenditures not coming to fruition in 2012.


Councilmember Pust clarified with Mr. Miller that the 80% of median value home values and decline in values of Roseville residential properties was based on figures from Ramsey County, and asked when those calculations were made available.


Mr. Miller advised that the calculations were performed early in 2012 for 2013, and indicated values declining by 8.7%, with some properties increasing and some decreasing, with the majority fluctuation in the 6% to 9.5% range.


Councilmember Pust asked if Mr. Miller took that value decrease into account when coming up with additional taxes, or whether that had already been subtracted out, with Mr. Miller responding that it had been taken into consideration, and this is the net tax impact.


Councilmember Pust asked Mr. Miller to provide just the tax numbers, outside property valuation calculations; opining that the proposed increase would be far higher; with Mr. Miller concurring that it would indeed be higher, but was not a true reality of the actual property tax bill.


Councilmember Pust, reflecting on her seven (7) years on the City Council, noted that over that time, the gross percentage had increased and decreased; and asked that Mr. Miller provide that set number for her review; opining that the perception is that taxes always go up in Roseville.  While there may be some truth to that perception, Councilmember Pust opined that a discussion was needed to ensure that comparisons were being done accurately.


Absent the change in property values, Mayor Roe estimated that the increase would be closer to 14.8%.  Mayor Roe opined that it would be helpful to have that statistical analysis; including how many homes in Roseville fell into the changing valuation category in order to understand the whole mix.


Councilmember Pust noted that there was also a historical percentage increase in the levy in Roseville over the last seven (7) years.


Mr. Miller advised that staff had previously provided that analysis over the last ten (10) years for the City Council as they determined what was driving the annual levy increase; and volunteered to update the information for the City Council’s review.

Councilmember Willmus referenced a memorandum sent out today by staff related to debt service; and asked that staff provide additional follow-up tonight or at the next meeting regarding the City’s credit rating and what could or could not jeopardize the City’s credit rating by spending down reserves.  Councilmember Willmus questioned if increasing the City’s debt could also have a negative effect on the City’s credit rating.


Mr. Miller responded that either situation could impact the City’s credit rating; however, he noted that the credit rating industry concerns were mainly based on how much debt load a city carried compared to its ability to pay it back.  Mr. Miller noted that the low tax rate in this area of the City’s financial picture boded well for its ability to increase the levy to pay for its debt service; with the credit rating industry looking at how well the City managed its debt over time.  Mr. Miller advised that they were fully cognizant of the City’s issuing a lot of debt in a short period of time (e.g. $27 million), but noted that they also were cognizant that the City of Roseville was in a better position to handle that debt load, with a clear plan in place to do so.  Mr. Miller advised that they would consider the City’s CIP program, community initiatives, projected debt load in the next 5-10 years, and its long term plan; with review of annual and long-term plans.


Regarding the portion of staff’s debt service memo specific to reserve funds, Councilmember Willmus asked that future columns include whether or not accounts had an overage, an underage, or were on target; and how funds were allocated for any accounts showing an overage (Table on page 2 of RCA).  Councilmember Willmus noted that the General Fund showed just over $900,000 over the target of 45% for reserve funds.


Mr. Miller advised that those reserves were earmarked for General Fund programs (e.g. Police, Fire, Streets and General Government) and this was how much available to provide for unforeseen circumstances of contingencies and to cover the City in between revenue collections.  Mr. Miller reminded all that the General Fund was largely funded through property tax collections, with those payments received from Ramsey County annually in June and December.  Mr. Miller noted that, come January 1 of the next year, the City needed 40-45% of that reserve level to get through until the next tax levy collection was received.


At the request of Councilmember Willmus, Mr. Miller clarified that the City was at 40-45% of its target for reserve funds; and at the moment were sitting quite well in relationship to the City Council adopted policy.  However, Mr. Miller noted that General Fund budgets generally increase, so the reserve level needed to increase correspondingly as well.


Councilmember McGehee referenced several items brought up during public comment; and opined that she personally shared the comments of one speaker encouraging a broader view by the City Council, rather in their current myopic way.  While the City continues to talk about sustainability, it was also looking at a decrease in its tax base of 10% with no plan on how to reach that sustainability without increasing its tax base.  As a newer Councilmember, Councilmember McGehee opined that she found it puzzling to see the number of initiatives for amenities and the “wish list,” but no initiatives for how to improve the City’s tax base.  Councilmember McGehee stated that this was an important consideration for her; and while recognizing the funding gap created when the City was not paying enough attention to its capital needs and creating a lot of infrastructure improvements and/or replacement, there were other priorities throughout the community that had yet to be addressed.  Councilmember McGehee provided several examples important to her and the constituents she talked to, including continuous flooding from storm water runoff and/or failure of the City’s infrastructure (e.g. sewage),and the importance of those things becoming a priority.


Councilmember McGehee referenced a front page article in the latest Sunday edition of the Minneapolis Star/Tribune newspaper about falling interest rates and those living on a fixed income having depended on their savings and that interest to augment their Social Security, but now unable to do so.  While recognizing that the City was not immediately responsible for this, Councilmember McGehee opined that the City needed to not further contribute to this stress for its citizens.  In the opinion of Councilmember McGehee, one of those opportunities was to address the aggressive water/sewer base rates; and not giving citizens the opportunity to conserve or have control over what they were spending.  While having argued this point earlier, Councilmember McGehee opined that she felt even stronger about it now as the economy continued to decline; and from her recollection, opined that the City’s base rates significantly exceeded those of other communities.


In response at the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Miller noted that this reflected a philosophy not shared by other cities; with the City well below average usage rates.


Councilmember McGehee opined that this served to prove her point.


At the request of Mayor Roe to not debate rates at tonight’s meeting, Councilmember McGehee opined that rates figured into everything people were being asked to pay; and the City Council continued to compartmentalizing expenditures and priorities.


Mr. Miller offered to provide comparison rate information with other communities at the City Council’s next discussion.


Mayor Roe suggested that, since the base versus usage rates had been previously discussed by the City Council, Mr. Miller should be prepared to provide thatinformation at that time.


Mr. Miller noted that, during discussions with the City Council last October and November, it had been the majority decision to address the base rates versus the variable usage rates, since there were inequities (e.g. senior discounts) that impacted those usage rates.

Councilmember McGehee requested rate information for the next budget discussion.


Mayor Roe stated that his initial inclination with the items listed by staff on page 2 was to NOT necessarily fund those with additional property taxes as suggested by staff, based largely on the additional debt service obligations coming on line.  Mayor Roe suggested that staff provide additional feedback at the next budget discussion for alternative funding sources.


As a result of CIP discussions last year, Councilmember Johnson noted that many cuts and impacts were accomplished the first year; and since this is a biennial budget process, noted that most departments had been asked to stay at or reduce their operational spending to facilitate that additional CIP funding.  Therefore, Councilmember Johnson responded to a public comment that there may not be much discussion on additional cuts for this second year of that biennial budget, but the next biennial budget cycle should address additional cuts.


Mayor Roe concurred, noting that $800,000 had been cut from the tax supported budget in 2012 in order to fund the CIP going forward.


Mayor Roe recognized that Councilmember Pust had made a good point, with the biennial budget approach, that staff provide an idea of what was expected moving forward to the 2013 budget.


Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at approximately 7:56 p.m. and reconvened at approximately 8:05 p.m.


15.         Business Items (Action Items)


a.            Receive and Consider Human Rights Commission (HRC) Resolution Pertaining to the Proposed Constitutional Amendment on Marriage

As detailed in the RCA dated August 27, 2012, Mayor Roe noted the adoption by the City’s Advisory Human Rights Commission (HRC) of a resolution opposing the proposed constitutional amendment on the November 6, 2012 General Election ballot.  Mayor Roe advised that it was the intent of tonight’s meeting for presentation of the HRC resolution to the City Council; and for the City Council to then take under advisement whether or not to take action on that resolution.  Mayor Roe advised that the City Council would hear public comment specific to this issue; and given the large number of audience members wishing to speak, asked that each speaker limit their comments to no more than two (2) minutes.  Mayor Roe noted that he would attempt to be as generous as possible with the time limits; however he noted the City Council’s desire to be as fair as possible, while also conducting other City business as well.  As there appeared to be speakers in the audience beyond Roseville residents, Mayor Roe advised that Roseville residents would be given the first opportunity speak, and if positions have not been clearly stated or already made as to one of the two sides to this issue early in the process, others speakers would then be heard.  Mayor Roe reviewed the public comment process to allow the meeting to move as efficiently as possible.


Mayor Roe welcomed and invited HRC Chair Gary Grefenberg to make the presentation; and Chair Grefenberg in turn invited other HRC Commissioners to the table.  Those present included: Chair Grefenberg; and members Kristin Doneen and Wayne Groff; HRC and Student Representatives Joan Dao and Marie Siliciano.  Chair Grefenberg advised that HRC Member Kaying Thao, while unable to attend the May 16, 2012 HRC meeting or tonight’s meeting, asked him to convey her full support of the resolution.


Mr. Grefenberg stated the purpose of the resolution and asked the Roseville City Council to ratify the resolution to openly state that they welcomed a diverse community, including supporting the rights of the gay community; and to stand with the HRC in opposition to the proposed marriage amendment; further recognizing the negative affect it would have on Roseville residents.


Student representative Dao concurred with Chair Grefenberg, and asked that the City Council consider adopting the resolution as well.


Student representative Joan Dao, as a Roseville youth, spoke in appreciation and pride of how the Roseville community worked; and opined that by the City Council supporting the resolution, they could be part of something really cool; and further opined that this was not an individual thing, but represented the ideology of the larger issue.


Mayor Roe thanked the HRC for their ongoing work and their attendance.


Public Comment

Gene Gjerdingen, 2553 Fisk Street

Mr. Gjerdingen urged the City not to pass a resolution on the upcoming amendment, opining that the City should not cast a ballot for or against, but urged individual Councilmembers to cast their personal votes along with other voters in the State of MN. 


Laura Olmstead, 3057 W Owasso Blvd.

Ms. Olmstead urged the City Council to support this resolution, noting that it was incredibly personal to her as part of a gay family; and their decision to purchase a home and raise their children in Roseville.  Ms. Olmstead noted that their rationale for choosing Roseville was based on the City being so open and progressive; and supporting civil rights for everyone.  As a regular church attendee, Ms. Olmstead advised that their church supported and would marry them if ever given that opportunity.  Ms. Olmstead provided an historical perspective of constitutional amendments since the State’s inception; opining that this amendment stands far apart from simply a state or Roseville citizen; and asked that the City of Roseville join twelve (12) other cities throughout MN who have said this amendment didn’t represent who we are; and asked that the City Council stand on the right side of history.


Mr. Robin Chattopadhyay, 1482 County Road C-2

Mr. Chattopadhyay spoke of his parents hailing from India and the State of North Dakota, and their circumstances when trying to marry and difficulties due to his father’s heritage compared to this proposed amendment; encouraging the City Council to support the resolution.


Dan Johnson-Powers, 1974 Tatum St.

Mr. Johnson-Powers noted that the HRC indicated that this was a human rights issue and as human beings, citizens and a City it was incumbent upon and an obligation to speak up for any human being’s rights, when being oppressed.  Mr. Johnson-Powers opined that it should be based on one position or another; and opined that history had proven what happens when people do nothing.  Mr. Johnson-Powers opined that no one can afford to remain silent when rights were taken away; and asked that the City Council take a firm stance against this proposed violation of human rights.


Bob Osborn, 1473 Clairmont

While appreciating the different points and positions, Mr. Osborn agreed fundamentally with the first speaker; and opined that it was the right recommendation, that it was not the business of the City Council to take a vote, but the right of the State’s citizens to vote on their individual ballots; and urged the City Council not to take action on this issue.  Mr. Osborn spoke to historical struggles related to civil rights; and the unfortunate division of the nation today based on differing cultural and political views.  Mr. Osborn opined that, should the City Council take action one way or the other, they would be taking a side and not serving to build unity and enable the City to solve its common problems.


Leslie Omundson, 1124 Rose Place

Ms. Omundson expressed her happiness as a Roseville resident, and her satisfaction with a pretty well-managed and progressive community. As the mother of a lesbian daughter, Ms. Omundson noted the additional difficulties she experienced due to her chosen lifestyle; and passage of the proposed marriage amendment would take away any hope or promise of her ever being able to marry in MN or have the protections for herself and any family members based on a marriage.  Ms. Omundson urged the City Council to take a stand proving that Roseville is a welcoming and tolerant community.


Dan Oren, 3150 W Owasso

Recognizing that this issue is divisive, Mr. Oren expressed his disturbance in the City Council being put in the position to speak for who he is as a Roseville citizen; or telling me what he’s going to say or to speak on his behalf.  As servants of the City of Roseville, and if individual Councilmembers felt strongly one way or the other on this issue, Mr. Oren suggested that they – as individuals – work hard for that particular side, but not to do so as an officer of the City of Roseville.  Mr. Oren opined that it was the job of the City Council to support the entire City, not one group or another, but the whole City.  As a Roseville citizen, Mr. Oren asked that the City not tell him how to think


Anne Collopy, 3155 Old Highway 8

Ms. Collopy clarified that she was speaking only for herself as a Roseville citizen, not for any other agency or group.  Ms. Collopy recognized that this was an emotional issue with strong opinions held by all.  However, Ms. Collopy echoed the comments of a previous speaker that this was not an issue for the City Council to take a position either way.  While having heard the arguments on both sides, Ms. Collopy advised that she looked at it from a different angle, having come from a family of teachers, and recognizing that words are very powerful and have many definitions and meanings.  When taking such an important term as “marriage,” Ms. Collopy opined that one could not be intellectually honest from the perspective of world civilizations, take the word to mean anything other than what it was originally intended to mean.  For a special interest group to take that term and say it means something other than what you’ve always understood it to mean and thereby change the definition of that word, Ms. Collopy opined that you were then manipulating language in law, with staggering consequences that would carry over in all levels of government and legal associations.  Ms. Collopy opined that this was a critical issue; and for statements to be made about hostility toward gay people if one disagreed with their position; or leaving an impression that one’s disagreement with a position indicated hatred was nothing more than bullying.  Ms. Collopy asked that the language of the constitution not be manipulated.


Tom Schroud, 1142 Rose Place

Mr. Schroud referenced other items on tonight’s agenda in comparison to this item on the proposed marriage amendment; and opined that its inclusion on a City Council agenda was completely out-of-line.  Mr. Schroud took issue with the comments of the HRC Chair, opining that they were blatantly false; and flatly rejected the HRC comments and their resolution.  Mr. Schroud further opined that, if a citizen disagreed with any of the State’s laws, there was a process through their legislative delegation to address those concerns in a different method.  Mr. Schroud opined that the right to marriage was not a civil right; and for the City Council to get involved in this political issue when other elected officials are already in place to address it, was attempting to supercede their powers, and was not their job.  Mr. Schroud opined that it was the job of the City Council to pay the bills and run the City of Roseville; and further opined that any action on their part would only serve to create more division in the City.


Paul Siliciano, 1908 Gluek Lane

Mr. Siliciano stated that he wished that all of his friends and neighbors enjoyed the same rights and protections as he and his wife enjoyed.  As stated by a previous speaker, Mr. Siliciano recognized that the City Council did not get a ballot to vote on this issue; however, he saw this as an opportunity for the City to make a statement that diversity and inclusive are strengths.  Mr. Siliciano opined that part of the City’s strength in remaining a great City is its strength; and expressed his hope that the Roseville City Council made a bold and courageous statement by supporting the resolution.


Ed Wallerman, 2420 Arona

Mr. Wallerman noted that he had continued to follow this very tense issue in the state legislature up to the end of the last session; and their determination to put it on the ballot for vote of Minnesota citizens.  Mr. Wallerman opined that every eligible voter had a right to vote yes or no.  Mr. Wallerman asked the City Attorney under what authority the City Council would have a right to back a certain group on this resolution; and opined that the City Council was spending money to promote a cause not related to City business, and that they had no authority to take a position on the resolution.


David Norris, 950 Clark Street, St. Paul

Mr. Norris read from one of the U. S. Constitution’s founding documents, Amendment 14, Section 1; opining that this was an important amendment addressing “separate but equal”.  Mr. Norris questioned where there was a “but” in civil rights; and while hearing concerns of other citizens that Roseville was a public body and should not take a stand, he opined that he disagreed with that perception.  Mr. Norris noted that there were twelve (12) other cities in the State of MN having already taken a stand, others were taking a stand against this proposed amendment.  Mr. Norris disagreed with a previous speaker who stated that marriage was not a civil right; and cited case law as an example.


Dick Houck, 1131 Roselawn Avenue

Mr. Houck opined that there were two (2) points of common sense to this very emotional and controversial issue; with the issue not an argument being presented, but whether or not the City should take a stand on the amendment.  Mr. Houck opined that an amendment is a piece of legislation passed legitimately in the state, and if people had a problem with that, the state was where they should go.  When there is a problem in Roseville, Mr. Houck noted that people came to the City Council to make those decisions, and opined that this legislation was not in the City’s jurisdiction and therefore there was no reason for them to make a decision on this.  Mr. Houck opined that, for the City Council to do so would only represent a portion of Roseville residents.  Mr. Houck opined that there was no reason for the City Council to put themselves on the line, and their only action should be as individuals voting their own position, but not as a body.  Mr. Houck strongly recommended that the City Council defer any action on this issue.


Cheryl Lenz, 2444 Sharon Street

Ms. Lenz thanked the City Council for considering this issue, opining that it was very important to many Roseville residents.  Ms. Lenz provided anecdotal comments on her advocacy for she and her husband’s gay and lesbian friends, and the additional stresses placed on their relationships than hers due to potential discrimination or legislative limitations.  Ms. Lenz encouraged Councilmembers to use their words, as they were powerful.


Nathan Meyer, 2474 Lydia Avenue W

Mr. Meyer reviewed his various residences in and out of the State of MN; and his experiences coming out as a gay person and finding a supportive community.  Mr. Meyer urged the City Council to keep Roseville as a welcoming community to all; and opined that this was an opportunity to allow gay people to remain in the community they loved by welcoming them.  By not making a decision tonight, Mr. Meyer opined that the City Council was essentially saying that the gay community was not as welcome as others; and asked that they vote to support the HRC resolution.


Robber Detel, Apple Valley resident

As a Christian, and retired member of the military, having gay friends whom he loved dearly, as commanded by God, Mr. Detel expressed his disillusionment in seeing this continuing rage and judgment.  Mr. Detel opined that, through the continuing conviction of some with those of differing opinions being mean, or angry or haters, this was wrong.  Mr. Detel used Canada as an example of this proposed “progression” and asked that this issue be left to the voters and each state to make their voice known.


John Sicolski, 2449 Sheldon Street

Mr. Sicolski addressed several comments made by other speakers; and that by voting on this issue, the City Council was not supporting or representing all of Roseville. Comparing this issue to other decision-making by the City Council, Mr. Sicolski opined that the City Council seldom satisfied everyone; and urged them to step forward and represent all of Roseville by supporting the HRC resolution.


Mara Bliss, 2009 Asbury Street

Ms. Bliss echoed a previous speaker, noting that she was allowed to be married in a government-sanctioned ceremony, but not everyone was allowed that privilege.  Ms. Bliss opined that it was not acceptable to remain silent; and it was necessary to speak out and stand up for what you believed in, whether it was divisive or not.  Ms. Bliss encouraged the Roseville City Council to make a stand; and expressed her hope that Roseville would be accepting and tolerant of that stand as well.


MaryWalser, 675 Pineview Court

Ms. Wolzer urged the City Council to support the HRC resolution; opining that it was very much a Roseville issue.  Serving as one more face of that issue, Ms. Wolzer provide an opinion on what is and is not the public’s business; and urged the City Council to act as a City Council to support the HRC resolution; and to do the right thing and act positively.  Ms. Wolzer further opined that she hated to think Roseville could end up as an island of apathy or inaction compared to its geographical neighbors.


Dee Siliciano, 1908 Gluek Lane

Ms. Siliciano opined that this was a civil rights issue; and when a group has an opportunity to speak out against injustice, it needed to do so.  Ms. Siliciano encouraged the City Council to support the HRC resolution.


Bruce Ona, 534 Lovell Avenue

Mr. Ona noted that he had also spoken at the HRC hearing on this same, very important topic; and noted that there seemed to be a lot of hostility directed against those who remained of the opinion that marriage was between a man and a woman.  Mr. Ona encouraged that the City Council take their stand based on truth, not what other cities have or have not done; and read the definition of marriage from the American College Dictionary.  Mr. Ona referenced other studies and biological issues demonstrating that same sex marriage was not the “truth;” as well as impacts on the health and happiness of children.  Mr. Ona encouraged the City Council to look at this from a truth base, not an emotional base; and not based on a special interest group or political party.


Tom Gottfried, 2724 Hamline Avenue

Mr. Gottfried repeatedly stressed Roseville’s identity and the importance of the City Council supporting the recommendations of its city-appointed commissioners, along with the diversity or thought in their representation of the City of Roseville.  Mr. Gottfried opined that the HRC had a huge diversity of thought representing Roseville throughout their vetting process; and whether this was a divisive issue or not, the City Council would be unable to satisfy all opinions of its citizenry.  However, Mr. Gottfried opined that, as Roseville citizens charged with and elected to make these hard decisions, it was a “no brainer” for them to support the HRC Commission’s unanimous vote and drafting of this resolution.  Mr. Gottfried urged the City Council to be brave and courageous and vote in favor of the HRC resolution and stand behind its commissioners and represent Roseville citizens.


Luke Mielke, 1868 Arona Street, Falcon Heights

As an attendee at the HRC and other meetings throughout this process, Mr. Meilke concurred with the previous speaker.  In his work with Minnesota United for All Families, Mr. Mielke recognized the amazing people he had been privileged to work with; and if the amendment passed, their resulting lack of welcome in MN and discrimination directed at them.  Mr. Mielke opined that it was the City Council’s job to make all feel welcome; all residents equally and with equal protections.  If denied those rights, Mr. Mielke opined that people wouldn’t want to live in Roseville or feel welcomed.   While it was unfortunate that the legislature passed the buck to its citizens, Mr. Mielke opined that it was a cop-out by them; but when citizens were aware that this is wrong, they must make their voices heard.  While nothing happens with adoption of the amendment, Mr. Mielke opined that it would serve to offer a hand of welcome to the gay community.


Greg Pratt, Saint Anthony/No. Mpls. Area

Mr. Pratt, as a 1979 graduate of Alexander Ramsey High School in Roseville, and having lived in the area his whole life, Mr. Pratt offered his opinion, supported by a number of his alumni classmates.


Brandon Lancaster, 2719 Hamline Avenue N, RV

In seeing this issue on the Roseville, Mr. Lancaster recognized the passion surrounding this issue.  While not speaking for or against this issue, Mr. Lancaster opined that he found it humorous that the City Council was taking up this matter.  Mr. Lancaster opined that what mattered was what the Roseville City Council saw as their role as a City government; and further opined that it was not up to them to make that opinion as a body, but as individuals personally voting their consciences. 


Kathleen Murphy, not a Roseville resident, but her mother is at 2750 N Dale

Ms. Murphy opined that the largest court in the land deemed that corporations were considered people and had a right to the freedom of speech; and expressed her hope that this body would be allowed that same justice.


Amy Kenzie, 3021 Pascal Street

Ms. Kensey opined that she considered herself fortunate; however, a number of her friends and relatives could not experience that same lifestyle, even though they were wonderful people and shared similar interests.  If the country was about freedom and equality, Ms. Kensey opined that she wanted to live in a community where those values were upheld; and allowed Roseville to remain outstanding and where human rights mattered.  Ms. Kensey opined that voting no on the marriage amendment as a Roseville City Council was not about telling people how to vote, but simply standing up for human rights.


Noting the time and other business before the body, Mayor Roe closed public comment at approximately 9:12 p.m.


Pust moved, Willmus seconded, acceptance of the Roseville Human Rights Commission Resolution (Attachment A) in the form in which it was presented; and readopting the resolution as a formal resolution of the Roseville City Council, Resolution No. 11003

Position Statements

Councilmember Pust opened her comments by acknowledging very clearly that every individual speaking, as well as those not speaking tonight, held deeply seated beliefs based on their personal value systems, whether personal, cultural, religious or political.  Councilmember Pust stated that she honored all of those individual beliefs, and in sharing her own, advised that she was speaking from a place of respect, honesty and humility.


As an elected member of the City Council, one of five members, Councilmember Pust stated that every time she sat in this Chamber for the last seven (7) years in that role, she took her job as doing what was best for the community of Roseville.  While this flavored her views, Councilmember Pust stated that she was always trying to make decisions based on what was best for Roseville.  While hearing some insist that this was not a local issue and inappropriate for the Roseville City Council to take a position on, with all respect, this, as with  all other discussions on a City Council level, were based on what was or was not in the best interest for the whole community.  Councilmember Pust noted that the City Council passed resolutions all the time based on values and how they’re reflected, but opined that she had never heard anyone say it was inappropriate to do so; and further opined that the City Council had that authority and that responsibility. 


Councilmember Pust opined that this is a matter about human rights, and came to the City Council from the HRC, a piece of our City government; and from time immemorial and funded through your tax dollars, the City Council was charged to work on matters of human rights.  As a result of the work of the HRC, and the State’s Declaration of Human Rights, under which they functioned, Councilmember Pust opined that it was the responsibility of the City Council to deal with this topic.  Councilmember Pust noted that when the Declaration of Human Rights was adopted sixty (60) years ago, its enactment had happened when nations said a consensus was needed for international standards to recognize the rights of humanity; with those rights self-evident, powerful and simple.  Councilmember Pust read that Declaration, noting that the annual Essay Contest was filtered through that Declaration with students reading its provisions and responding through their heart-felt essay projects.


Councilmember Pust opined that human rights are a birth right, not conferred upon us by government, and further opined that governments exist to protect those rights.  Councilmember Pust stated that it was within that framework that she had considered what position the City Council should take.  Based on current state law already in place regarding marriage and which side is trying to be divisive; and from the position of her career as a lawyer, Councilmember Pust opined that, with only two (2) exceptions, Minnesota’s Constitutional amendments to-date had broadened individual rights.  In a democracy, Councilmember Pust opined that those rights were defined as core, self-evident truths, not just enshrined in statutes that can change on political whims; but as constitutional amendments when the value of democracy was considered and memorialized.


In her role as a Councilmember, Councilmember Pust opined that it was her responsibility to do what the community elected her to do: listen to citizens and take the action she thought best served the community.  When first running for the City Council, Councilmember Pust noted that she ran on a platform to get the community together to talk about its future, resulting in the Imagine Roseville 2025 community visioning documents.  Councilmember Pust opined that the most resounding thing she heard from the community as a whole was that it wanted to be a welcoming community recognizing the strength of its diversity.  In light of the question currently before the City Council, Councilmember Pust stated that she could not find any rationale to support this proposed amendment that, in her opinion, had been designed by people seeking to be divisive.  Councilmember Pust opined that it was inherent to protect broad human rights and what governments were elected to protect; and urged all citizens to vote “no” on the proposed amendment.


While not an attorney and not as eloquent as Councilmember Pust, Councilmember Willmus opined that this was an issue of what he felt was right.  When running for office, Councilmember Willmus opined that he didn’t do so by making a determination that he was representing a certain group, but all of Roseville.  Because he saw Roseville as an open and welcoming community for all, Councilmember Willmus opined that he saw Roseville as a diverse community with diverse perspectives.  In light of that, Councilmember Willmus stated that he had come to the conclusion on what the right thing to do was, by acknowledging that this proposed amendment was restrictive. 


Councilmember Willmus noted that Article 1 of the Constitution was the Bill of Rights, serving to protect diversity; and opined that he saw the proposed amendment as a challenge to that premise, whether on this issue or any other.


Councilmember Willmus opined that personally he would not support the amendment.  Councilmember Willmus noted that he had heard from more Roseville residents on this issue than any other, even County Road C-2 and Wal-Mart.  Councilmember Willmus spoke in support of the City’s HRC position.


Councilmember McGehee spoke in support of the motion; confirming her support all along.  While not having many additional comments beyond those already expressed by Councilmembers Pust and Willmus, Councilmember McGehee stated that it was her belief that she represented all people, and couldn’t take a position that would single out a portion of the community she represented to have fewer rights than the rest of the community.  Councilmember McGehee opined that this divisive issue was not one brought about the City or community; but couldn’t be allowed to divide the community, since everyone had equal rights. 


While feeling welcome in Roseville now, Councilmember McGehee stated that this was not always her experience, and that she had felt discriminated in the past because of who she was; opining that it didn’t feel very good.  Councilmember McGehee stated that she wished to support the entire community and felt strongly about this; and didn’t support the opinion that the City Council, as a political body, shouldn’t or couldn’t take a stand; further opining that it had and should do so. 


Councilmember McGehee stated that she was proud to be part of the resolution activity of the HRC, having served on that body in the past, and having read annual essays from students about human rights.  Councilmember McGehee expressed her pride that the HRC and the City Council was standing up for the entire community and rights for everyone, not just those in Roseville, but throughout the State of MN as a welcoming state for GLTB residents; and expressed her pleasure that it appeared that Roseville was such a community of welcome as well.


Councilmember Johnson stated that this issue had run the gamut of emotions; and had been the most thought-provocative issue in his four (4) year tenure with the City Council.  Initially, Councilmember Johnson stated that his thought process included frustration that he had been pushed into a corner on this issue.  However, when he ran for election, based on his beliefs and how they impacted this issue, Councilmember Johnson recognized his decision-making process.


Councilmember Johnson reviewed his initial involvement with City government through his service on the Parks and Recreation Commission, followed by involvement with the Comprehensive Plan Subcommittee of the Imagine Roseville 2025 community visioning; and the City of Roseville’s rich history that provided optimism for its future. Councilmember Johnson read one of the statements from that community visioning process, stating that All families are strong, healthy, embraced and serve people throughout to live, learn, worship and play; creating a great place to raise a family, age in place, run a business, , and that all of those opportunities should be protected (excerpt from paragraph two of that document).  Councilmember Johnson noted that, while open to interpretation, the document had been heavily vetted by the entire community.


Councilmember Johnson advised that he originally had thought that this issue would be a two-part process, with the first step to receive the HRC recommendation and then determination of a City Council position; but stated that he would personally vote “no” in the voter’s booth.


As the next phase of his decision-making, Councilmember Johnson questioned if this was the pulpit or bench from which an issue like this should go forward, and whether in his role as a Councilmember, he should say aye or nay, or just stand by.  Councilmember Johnson opined that it would be easy for him to simply stand by; and recognized that this was where he needed to thank the hundreds of people who had talked to him; and shared their passion and their pain, helping him to understand the community of Roseville better.  While door-knocking during his campaign for City Council, Councilmember Johnson noted that the community was very diverse; and offered his desire to support all of those groups.  Councilmember Johnson noted that, right now at this time and place, one of those diverse groups was before the City Council, and while he originally held a dissenting position, after hearing how Councilmember Pust had framed the issue, he had decided that he will vote along with the popular opinion heard tonight because he thought it was the right thing to do.


Mayor Roe stated that he didn’t struggle much about whether to support or oppose the amendment, since from the beginning he personally felt it was appropriate to oppose the amendment, opining that it was the right thing to do and urging friends and neighbors to also not support the amendment.


Mayor Roe stated that the question he struggled with, as previously shared by with HRC Chair Grefenberg, and was also asked by many tonight: whether it was appropriate for the City Council to take action on the issue.  Mayor Roe noted that his initial reaction was that it was not; comparing it to other City Council actions in the early 2000’s when it became popular for them to take a position and pass a resolution in opposition to the War in Iraq.  Mayor Roe clarified that, no matter his personal opinion, he felt such a position was outside his role as a Councilmember.  Mayor Roe noted that this was his thought process and background coming into this issue.


Noting this was a very important issue affecting the rights of people and a determination of whether the State Constitution encouraged or enhanced the rights of a minority group of people, Mayor Roe noted that this then took him to a different level, and as a result, found himself supporting the resolution moved tonight.  Mayor Roe stated that he maintained his skepticism as to whether the City Council should take a position on political issues, for those reasons previously stated, Mayor Roe noted that a City Council can do so, with that authority supported by the State’s Attorney General as well as other authorities in the state supporting that position.  As leaders in the community, Mayor Roe opined that whether in this forum as a City Council or other forums throughout the community, the City Council should exercise that leadership, even if and when disagreement was bound to occur.


Roll Call

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

            Nays: None.


Given the hour, Mayor Roe, with Council consensus, amended the agenda to take up item 12.e at this time.


b.            Request to Perform an Abatement for Unresolved Violations of City Code at 2486 Marion Street

As previously noted, this item was removed from the agenda.


e.         Consider Brown-Wilbert Minor Subdivision

          Mayor Roe noted the rationale in hearing this item tonight, given the action deadline, previously extended by the applicant, of August 27, 2012.


          Associate Planner Bryan Lloyd reviewed the application review details, and noted that the issue had been tabled at a previous meeting of the City Council due to drainage issues in the area and lack of a snow storage plan from the applicant.  Mr. Lloyd noted that concerns had been raised by neighbors and Councilmembers that this recombination could create additional of further degrade those drainage issues.  Mr. Lloyd reviewed the application, to modify property boundaries; and subsequent review and acceptance by the City Engineer of the applicant’s snow storage plan.  Mr. Lloyd referenced a summary letter of the comments and concerns addressed with surrounding residential property owners at a meeting held earlier in August, and included in tonight’s meeting materials.


Councilmember McGehee questioned if there had been any significant headway in the final drainage plan for the broader area.


City Engineer Bloom responded that the larger drainage mitigation project was scheduled for presentation and potential authorization by the City Council in the spring of 2014; with survey work just having begun this week, and an average of six (6) months needed to fully develop a project.  Ms. Bloom advised that staff was committed to bring a project forward; and when it was ready, they would then advise residents of those plans and seek their input.


Councilmember Willmus stated that he had a better understanding of the area after his personal review on site.  However, Councilmember Willmus noted his concerns with water running downhill, as well as long-term land use issues with this parcel zoned LDR but combined with a parcel zoned Office/Business Park, and currently serving as a manufacturing plant.  Councilmember Willmus questioned whether this created an existing, non-conforming use; and expressed concern with creating a land-locked LDR parcel with approval of this request.


In response, Mr. Lloyd advised that light manufacturing was allowed in the Office/Business Park zoning district; and clarified that this patch of land would continue to have LDR guidance in the City’s Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code.  Mr. Lloyd further clarified that this property line was not being added, but was simply a relocation of an existing property boundary and not a separate parcel and matching the zoning of others within the parcel boundaries of or larger business parcel boundaries. While not as clean as preferred, Mr. Lloyd advised that this would not serve as the first example in Roseville with one parcel overlapping another parcel’s zoning.  Mr. Lloyd further advised that the City did not have the ability to require zoning changes or Comprehensive Plan Amendments based on changing property boundaries.


At the request of Councilmember Willmus, Mr. Lloyd advised that Planning staff did not think that by the applicant acquiring this property for snow storage, it created a commercial use on an LDR parcel; and as standard operating procedure, snow storage was not regulated except for shopping center properties.  Mr. Lloyd clarified that snow storage was not regulated except for properties like shopping centers and large offices; snow storage could not reduce minimum parking space requirements; nor could snow be consolidated into one large pile from an office or shopping center in an area of residential zoning beyond one (1) week.  Examples of this restriction were discussed specific to short- and long-term snow storage.


Councilmember Johnson noted that he had visited the site as well, and observed a definite “little valley” in the area of most concern with drainage, specifically Mr. Wright’s property that he and Mr. Wright had walked.  Councilmember Johnson opined that he could see future snow remediation in the future due to it going to the low density lot; as well as Mr. Tschida’s property and others north of the newly-acquired property.  Councilmember Johnson noted that there was a sizable, six foot (6’) drop off where snow would be stored and seeping into those back yards; and questioned if any consideration had been given by staff for the potential melt into those yards in the spring.


Ms. Bloom noted that there were currently no restrictions without the conditions staff was attempting to include on this Recombination Minor Subdivision request; with the back yard drains potentially covered. As far as snow storage is concerned, Ms. Bloom reiterated that today there were no restrictions as to where the snow could be piled, since the Code had no restrictions at this time.  From the perspective of snow melt causing additional issues, Ms. Bloom opined that piled snow typically melts slowly, and can be spread out to reduce flow; but either way the snow was still going to be there with or without the subdivision; and still has to be managed by the owner.  Ms. Bloom advised that staff was attempting to mitigate at least a portion of the drainage issues through conditions on this subdivision request and the required snow removal plan, as discussed at the previous City Council meeting.


At the request of Councilmember Pust, Mr. Lloyd advised that the applicant’s rationale for a subdivision was to not own the residence or rent it out; and only keep the property they wanted to simplify the process.


At the request of Councilmember Pust regarding a condition that could protect neighbors by requiring their approval or some way to complain if snow melted into their yard, Ms. Bloom advised that action to approve the subdivision did not create the snow issue or become an issue due to the request.  Ms. Bloom advised that existing practices are to push the snow into the back yard and block the drain; thus staff’s rationale for the City easement and the condition requiring that the applicant keep that low spot from being blocked.  If the City Council chooses not to move forward with approval of the subdivision, Ms. Bloom opined that she doubted the applicant would change their current process for snow removal or storage; and since the City currently had no regulation in place, staff had attempted to address drainage concerns to some extent through placing conditions on the o protecting


Councilmember Pust clarified that staff was advising that by conditioning and approving this subdivision request, the City Council was helping to solve a problem since they couldn’t force the property owner currently to do anything; and the only resolution the City held was through granting a conditional subdivision.


Ms. Bloom responded affirmatively, stating that essentially staff was in the process of developing a more comprehensive solution, and with this City easement, it could address a portion of the drainage issues; however, without that easement in place, the company could pile snow and block drainage in the north/south drainage area, currently the status quo and continuing that process.


Councilmember McGehee opined that she saw no reason to consider or grant the subdivision at all; since it seemed like the easiest thing for the parcel owner to do by leaving it as is with an easement on the back for them to blow their snow.  Councilmember McGehee opined that she was not comfortable creating a land-locked LDR parcel, and particularly didn’t like being held hostage by the easement not going far enough and the business owner deliberately choosing to block all drainage damaging other adjacent lots.  Councilmember McGehee further opined that the existing commercial lot went well beyond any reasonable amount of impervious coverage given its slope; and the 1959 regulations regarding fencing and screening between businesses and residential homes were not being conformed with in any way.  If a plan was anticipated next spring to make the entire area work, Councilmember McGehee opined that it made sense; however, it doesn’t make sense now without such a plan; and in the meantime, if the Brown-Wilbert firm wants to blow snow, it created significant drainage issues for adjoining residential properties.  Councilmember McGehee opined that using this little nibble on the side to mitigate drainage issues was not the type of solution the City should seek; and further opined that she could see no rationale for approving the request.


Mayor Roe clarified that this request was a proposal by Brown-Wilbert to subdivide property they already owned; and that City staff was seeking to create easements as part of that subdivision request allowing it some control over an existing drainage issue, and providing some improvement; with a more substantial project anticipated in the future.


Councilmember Willmus questioned if the subdivision could be predicated on the easement and drainage occurring first.


Mr. Lloyd responded that he didn’t think that type of condition could be applied to an approval; and while not planning to make improvements, it relied on the City for further action to finalize an approval, not serving as an appropriate way to proceed.


At the request of Councilmember Willmus, Ms. Bloom advised that if the City Council did not agree to this subdivision, it could obtain easements through purchase for a public purpose to mitigate an existing situation.  However, Ms. Bloom noted that this is often a costly and time-consuming process, with the recent Macy’s easement for sidewalk extension taking two (2) years.  Ms. Bloom opined that dedicated easements were always preferable to having to purchase easements.


At approximately 9:59 p.m. Pust moved, Johnson seconded extending the meeting for five minutes.

Roll Call

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

Nays: None.

          Mayor Roe asked if the final evolution of the storm water management plan would provide larger or different easement than these currently proposed.


Ms. Bloom responded that the drainage problems experienced in this neighborhood were only a portion of those experienced in the larger subwatershed drainage area extending down past St. Rose of Lima Church, created by hundreds of acres of runoff going into a main pipe on Sharon Avenue east of here and closer to Sandhurst under the highway and eventually into Willow Pond and under the high school athletic fields.  Ms. Bloom advised that the pipe was not adequately sized to handle 2-4” rain events; and resulted in the highway flooding creating traffic jams, or surcharging out of catch basins as it tried to find a way back to this low area.  Ms. Bloom advised that the rationale behind the easements was to find some way for the water to get through the easement area, both above and below ground, by providing additional storm sewer capacity to avoid it going into people’s basements.  Ms. Bloom advised that this was the larger flood management plan and would address issues with the catch basin.  Ms. Bloom recognized Mr. White as a great partner with the City throughout the years.  Ms. Bloom noted that a permanent solution for drainage issues involved more than just the City of Roseville, and required more infiltration basins in easements, sinking them into the ground and then into the pipe; with staff’s opinion that those easements would be what was needed to be successful.


At the request of Mayor Roe, Ms. Bloom confirmed that approval of these easements would not prove contrary to future needs.


Several other examples were discussed and various mitigation efforts, whether through purchase of property and/or vacant home acquisition, as well as other options.


Ms. Bloom advised that a huge pond at this location would not correct the larger problem, but that the entire subwatershed needed to be addressed, with this proposal only serving to make an incremental difference.  Ms. Bloom noted that there are other mitigation options in the area as well; however, this area is at the top of the watershed, and the low spot in the intersection was surcharging when the pipe filled; and while something larger could be built, the City was attempting to mitigation drainage issues without demolishing homes.


Regarding conflicts with the Zoning, and other historical scenarios mentioned throughout the City, Councilmember Willmus sought when those were created; with Mr. Lloyd advising that one was a PUD created in the early to mid-1990’s and one on Rice Street much older.


Mayor Roe noted that the issue at the Fairview community Center had been created by the City when zoning was changed from Parks Open Space versus Institutional with no parcel line.


Councilmember Pust addressed a concern she had fielded from a citizen regarding conditions for use of snow removal equipment when in close proximity to residential properties.


Mr. Lloyd advised that there was a difference in City Code for emergency and non-emergency snow removal; with Councilmember Willmus clarifying that snow removal was exempt from existing City Code.


At 10:08 pm, Johnson moved, McGehee seconded extending the meeting until 10:15 pm.


Roll Call

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

Nays: None.

Mr. Lloyd addressed snow removal regulations in City Code, Chapter 1011, with snow removal not prohibited, but minimized beyond any hours within the parameters of 10:00 pm and 7:00 pm.


In response, Councilmember Pust opined that a condition needed to be added restricting it.


McGehee moved, Willmus seconded, DENIAL of the request for a RECOMINATION MINOR SUBDIVISION, based on the findings that no sufficient drainage plan is available for an area with an existing major problem; and a current remedy is available to the business owner by simply using the back portion of property he already owns; and because the subdivision would create a land-locked residential lot.


Councilmember Pust opined that she was still under  the impression that if the City Council did not grant the recombination, the existing problem could not be fixed; and recognizing that the neighbors have a problem, a motion to deny provides for no option for neighbors.  Therefore, Councilmember Pust opined that she was inclined to vote in opposition to the motion.


Councilmember McGehee stated that she heard that the City could work with the property owner as plans move forward to secure the easements needed; but mitigation on how to fix the problem would not be available until next spring.


Councilmember Pust opined that, if she was the property owner, she would withdraw the subdivision request and sell the parcel; demolish the existing house and use the parcel for snow storage.  Councilmember Pust questioned if this was a smart move on the City’s part, when they could obtain a dedicated easement on a portion, and alleviate some of the drainage issues of adjacent parcels.


Councilmember Willmus stated that he continued to be hung up on the commercial use of this site; but was not opposed to revisiting the issue when more substantial drainage plans were in place.


Councilmember Johnson sought an opinion from legal counsel on this matter.


City Attorney Gaughan advised that he would only point out if the Council’s intent was to deny the application, that findings for that denial be based on the preference not to create a land-locked residential strip; and suggested that it also include a finding for denial based on it creating a lot with multiple zoning designations signifying poor planning practices.


With inclusion of those findings for denial, Councilmember Johnson stated that he could then support a motion to deny the application.


Based on those findings, Mayor Roe stated that he could also support a motion for denial; however, he could not do so based on a finding related to what easements may eventually needed, or lack of a more substantial drainage plan.  Mayor Roe opined that those findings alone did not provide sufficient grounds to deny the subdivision.


In terms of drainage issues and without drawing a conclusion on those facts, City Attorney Gaughan noted that the City’s Minor Subdivision Code provided for an expedited process and basis for denial in Section 1102, as it related to concerns for the City’s health, safety and welfare based on drainage concerns.


Mayor Roe opined that he didn’t see this subdivision request sufficiently affecting the health, safety or welfare of citizens as a justification for denial; however, he did have a problem with the two (2) zoning districts on one parcel.  However, Mayor Roe advised that he could not support the motion as it currently stood.


Johnson moved, Willmus seconded, an amendment to the original motion that would strike previous reasoning for findings; and address those findings recommended by City Attorney Gaughan related to multiple zoning and representing poor planning practices.


Councilmember McGehee opined that she could accept a finding that the proposed request affected the health, safety and welfare of area residents due to drainage concerns.


As the seconder of the motion, Councilmember Willmus expressed his concurrence.


The motion, as amended, was restated as follows:

“McGehee moved, Willmus seconded, DENIAL of the request for a RECOMBINATION MINOR SUBDIVISION, based on the following findings:

·         The proposed request affected the health, safety and welfare of area residents due to drainage concerns.

·         The proposed request would create a land-locked residential strip;

·         The proposed request would create a lot with multiple zoning designations and signify poor planning practices by the City.


Roll Call

Ayes: Pust; McGehee; Willmus; and Johnson.     

            Nays: Roe.

            Motion carried.


16.         Adjourn

Johnson moved, Pust seconded, adjournment of the meeting at approximately

10:15 pm.

Roll Call

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

            Nays: None.