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City Council

City Council Meeting Minutes

Regular Meeting

January 5, 2009


Public Reception

A public reception for incoming Councilmember Jeff Johnson, and re-elected Councilmember Tammy Pust was held in the City Hall lobby commencing at approximately 5:15 pm, immediately prior to the regular business meeting.


At approximately 6:00 pm, Mayor Klausing welcomed citizens and provided brief opening remarks prior to the swearing-in ceremony of Councilmembers Pust and Johnson respectively; and introduced the Minnesota Boys Choir who opened with the National Anthem.


City Council Oaths of Office

Councilmembers Tammy Pust and Jeff Johnson were sworn-in and both provided brief remarks, recognition of family and friends, and appreciation for those involved in their respective campaigns.


1.         Call Roll

Mayor Klausing called to order the Roseville City Council regular meeting at approximately 6:30 p.m. and welcomed everyone. City Attorney Scott Anderson was also present.


(Voting and Seating Order for January: Roe; Johnson; Pust; Ihlan; and Klausing)


Mayor Klausing recognized and congratulated Councilmember Tammy Pust on her re-election; and Councilmember Jeff Johnson on his election to the Roseville City Council and expressed his anticipation of working with both of them.


2.         Approve Agenda

The agenda was approved by consensus as presented.


3.                 Public Comment

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


a.                 Carol  Stellwagen, 3096 Ridgewood Road

Ms. Stellwagen referenced an article in the January/February 2009 Roseville City News regarding a new water conservation-based rate structure for the City’s water rates.  Ms. Stellwagen sought clarification on the new rate structure versus previous rates and the apparent penalty being applied for those with low usage.


At the request of Mayor Klausing, Finance Director Chris Miller responded to Ms. Stellwagen’s concerns and briefly outlined the intent of the conservation-based rate structure to meet a new requirement under State Law to encourage conservation year round, which also required changes to the City’s decades-old base service fee and rate subsidization.  Mr. Miller noted that the fee change incorporated and ensured that fixed costs for the City’s water system were being recovered and that the new usage fee was corrected accordingly.  Mr. Miller advised that this correction created a sizable increase in the base fee, while for a typical household, it reduced their usage fee.  Mr. Miller further advised that those low-volume residential users (5-10,000 gallons/quarter) would experience an increase as their rates were no longer being subsidized.


Mayor Klausing noted that the City Council had authorized staff to take this action last fall; and opined that he was supportive of the action in an effort to reward water conservation. 


Councilmember Ihlan requested that staff provide calculations on how bills will be structured now compared to past billing, not just for average users, but for high and low volume users. Councilmember Ihlan opined that she was concerned that those with higher usage may be paying less under the new structure, and sought clarification from staff; as well as further calculations for commercial users.  Councilmember Ihlan advised that her intent with the requested information was to determine if the new rate structure was accomplishing the intent of the City Council.


Mayor Klausing concurred with Councilmember Ihlan’s request for information,  clarifying the need for calculations from staff as to specific volume users, as well as further analysis later in the year after data from the new rate structure had been in place to determine measurable impacts and if the City Council’s objectives were being achieved.


Councilmember Pust noted that the article in the newsletter was not as clear as it should be for residents to understand the new rate structure, and asked that staff follow-up with an article providing additional clarity in the Roseville Review, as well as on the City’s website, including the City Council’s rationale and new State law requirements to achieve water conservation efforts.


Councilmember Roe noted that he had previously e-mailed staff requesting their analysis based on a year-long use history to provide an overall annual impact and perspective from which the City Council could respond to concerned residents.  Councilmember Roe also noted indications that high volume users (over 30,000 gallons/quarter in the summer months) appeared to be paying less than under the previous rate structure, and asked that staff provide an analysis over a one-year period at minimum to provide that comparison data as well.


Mr. Miller clarified that, when staff sought City Council approval of the new rate structure, they had indicated that it would take a year to analyze whether the intent was being realized.  Mr. Miller advised that staff would prepare preliminary data and comparisons of overall annual costs based on several scenarios and use volumes.


Councilmember Ihlan opined that it was important, in the short-term, for the City Council to get a handle on the new rate structure to determine if the correct rate structure was in place; while also providing for an analysis after a year to determine if the new structure was having its desired effect.


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


5.         Recognitions, Donations, Communications


6.         Approve Minutes

a.         Approve Minutes of 12/15/08 Regular Meeting

Pust moved, Roe seconded, approval of the minutes of the December 15, 2008 Regular Meeting as amended in accordance with Councilmember Roe’s e-mail dated December 17, 2008.


                                                            Roll Call

            Ayes: Roe: Pust; Ihlan; Klausing.

            Nays: None.

            Abstentions: Johnson.


7.                 Approve Consent Agenda

There were no changes to the Consent Agenda.  At the request of Mayor Klausing, City Manager Bill Malinen briefly reviewed those items being considered under the Consent Agenda.


a.                 Resolution Designating Official Bank Depositories

Pust moved, Ihlan seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 10678 entitled, “Resolution on Designation of Depositories.”


                                                Roll Call

            Ayes: Roe; Johnson; Pust; Ihlan; and Klausing.

            Nays: None.


b.                 Resolution Designating Official Bank Signatories

Pust moved, Ihlan seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 10679 entitled, “Resolution on Designation of Bank Signatories.”


                                                Roll Call

            Ayes: Roe; Johnson; Pust; Ihlan; and Klausing.

            Nays: None.


c.                  Designate 2009 Legal Newspaper

Pust moved, Ihlan seconded, approval of the lowest bidder, the Roseville Review, as the legal newspaper for the City of Roseville for 2009.


                                                Roll Call

            Ayes: Roe; Johnson; Pust; Ihlan; and Klausing.

            Nays: None.


d.                 Renewal of Electrical Inspections Service Contract

Pust moved, Ihlan seconded, approval of a 2009 Service Agreement between the City of Roseville and Tokle Inspections, Inc., for Electrical Consultant Services, including the 2009 Electrical Permit Fee Schedule, and stipulating annual review of the agreement.

                                                Roll Call

            Ayes: Roe; Johnson; Pust; Ihlan; and Klausing.

            Nays: None.


e.                 Designate 2009 Assistant Weed Inspector

Pust moved, Ihlan seconded, approval of appointment of the City of Roseville Community Development Department Codes Coordinator as the duly-authorized and designated Assistant Weed inspector for Calendar year 2009, pursuant to Minnesota Statute 18.80.


                                                Roll Call

            Ayes: Roe; Johnson; Pust; Ihlan; and Klausing.

            Nays: None.


f.                   Approve City Sign Permits for 2009

Pust moved, Ihlan seconded, approval of the 2009 sign permit for City uses and promotions as listed in the 2009 Sign Summary, dated January 5, 2009.


                                                Roll Call

            Ayes: Roe; Johnson; Pust; Ihlan; and Klausing.

            Nays: None.


g.                 Authorize Solicitation of Donations for 2009 Parks & Recreation Special Events

Pust moved, Ihlan seconded, authorizing the City Manager or his designee to send letters requesting support for donations for various special events as detailed in the Request for City Council Action dated January 5, 2009.


                                                Roll Call

            Ayes: Roe; Johnson; Pust; Ihlan; and Klausing.

            Nays: None.


8.                 Consider Items Removed from Consent


9.                 General Ordinances for Adoption


10.             Presentations


11.             Public Hearings


12.             Business Items (Action Items)


a.                 Designate 2009 Acting Mayor

Mayor Klausing briefly reviewed past practice in designating Acting Mayors based on seniority; noting that Councilmember Roe would be next in line for that designation.


Klausing moved, Pust seconded, designation of Councilmember Dan Roe as the 2009 Acting Mayor for the City of Roseville, MN.


                                                            Roll Call

            Ayes: Roe; Johnson; Pust; Ihlan; and Klausing.

            Nays: None.


b.                 Confirm Appointment to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority Board

Mayor Klausing apologized for the delay in this action, noting that it should have been taken under consideration last fall.  Mayor Klausing advised that his intent, with the concurrence of the City Council, would be to reappoint Councilmember Pust to the position.  Mayor Klausing noted the revised language drafted by Councilmember Roe, and provided as a bench handout providing a more definitive appointment process as followed by the City Council and in accordance with State Statute.


Mayor Klausing thanked Councilmember Roe for his diligence in this matter, and for drafting revisions to the original ordinance.


Roe moved, Klausing seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 10680, as amended and entitled, “Resolution Approving Mayor’s Appointment of Council Member Tammy L. Pust to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority in and for the City of Roseville to Fill a Vacancy;” with a term expiring at the end of Councilmember Pust’s current term as Councilmember, that is the first Council meeting of 2013, following the 2012 General Election.


                                                Roll Call

            Ayes: Roe; Johnson; Pust; Ihlan; and Klausing.

            Nays: None.

13.             Business Items – Presentations/Discussions


a.                 Discuss City Council  Rules of Procedures

Mayor Klausing sought any amendments to the City Council Rules and Procedures, and solicited any comments from Councilmembers.


Councilmember Roe noted that under “Rule 3 Agenda,” and the order of business, there had been recent meetings when General Ordinances were considered under the Public Hearing section of the agenda rather than under their designated section.  Councilmember Roe further noted that, recently Public Hearings had been listed consecutively on the agenda, followed separately under Business Action for those items, and questioned rationale for that order and whether it may appear to be disjointed, rather than simply holding a Public Hearing for a specific item and then taking action immediately following that specific Public Hearing.


City Manager Malinen provided his rationale for separating Public Hearings from City Council actions based on his past experience, and in experimenting with differentiating the Public Hearing and public comment from the City Council’s action on a specific item, should further deliberation be desired by the City Council.


Mayor Klausing opined that separating the Public Hearing from the action may create more confusion for the public who may be awaiting Council action, and expressed his preference for action, as indicated, immediately following that specific Public Hearing.

City Manager Malinen suggested that there may be some items that would indicate further opportunity for the City Council to deliberate immediately following public comment, but prior to taking action.


Mayor Klausing agreed with the concept and recognized that such deliberation may be indicated, such as with the annual Truth In Taxation Hearing; however, opined that it seemed to make more sense in the majority of situations to take action immediately following a Public Hearing unless otherwise indicated.


Councilmember Pust opined that the most recent separation of Public Hearings and Actions seemed clumsy, and noted that the City Council had actually amended the agenda to take action immediately following the Public Hearing.


It was City Council consensus that the order of business in the current Rules of Procedure remains in place, while recognizing that flexibility could be provided if so indicated by a specific item.


Councilmember Roe noted that staff need not duplicate background information in both the Public Hearing and Action reports, in an effort to save paper and as part of the City’s green initiative.

City Manager Malinen noted that some ordinances were being considered under the Consent Agenda; however, the General Ordinance section had been created to provide for public comment on those items.


Mayor Klausing noted Councilmember Ihlan’s previous concerns that ordinances creating laws for the City should not be included under the Consent Agenda; and further noted that a formal Public Hearing was not required when enacting an ordinance.


Councilmember Ihlan reiterated her previous request on page two, first paragraph, of the Rules of Procedure, that the second and last sentences of that paragraph be removed, opining that they were cumbersome and served no purpose.  Councilmember Ihlan further opined that there was no good policy reason to make it harder for Councilmembers to bring items forward to be included on an agenda.


Mayor Klausing clarified the language and intent of that paragraph, as well as the one immediately following, that allowed for a mechanism to address items coming up after preparation of the agenda, but of a time-sensitive nature; and allowances for a simple majority vote of the City Council to include such items.  Mayor Klausing briefly noted that this item had been reviewed several times in past discussions; and reviewed his original concerns and intent in proposing the language as currently written.  Mayor Klausing noted that, in the past, individual Councilmembers frequently added agenda items immediately before an agenda came out, allowing no opportunity for other Councilmembers, or staff, to consider necessary background information and informed decision-making by the City Council as a whole.  Mayor Klausing noted that from those past discussions, and at the recommendation of Councilmember Roe, each agenda now included a section for “Councilmember Initiated Future Agenda Items,” that appeared to work exceedingly well.  Mayor Klausing opined that he was not inclined to further revise that language.


Councilmember Roe questioned what advantage would be found in revising the language from that written, when a simple majority vote can determine whether an item be added or removed.


Councilmember Ihlan opined that the presumption was whether the Council wanted to make it harder for individual Councilmembers to raise issues by putting a procedural impediment in place requiring that additional hoops be jumped.  


Mayor Klausing polled individual Councilmembers as to their interest in revising the language as proposed by Councilmember Ihlan; with no interest indicated.


Councilmember Johnson opined that the last paragraph of Rule 3 appeared to  provide sufficient mechanisms for any further changes.


          Councilmember Roe noted that no formal action was necessary; that the Rules of Procedure would stay in effect as written until changed.


b.                 Discuss City Council Liaisons

City Manager Malinen noted that this item was being brought forward for discussion purposes with the new City Council now in place.


Discussion included past discussions with no indication for additional and/or more formalized liaisons; lack of general consensus for designated liaisons for advisory commissions to the City Council; perceptions of whether Council liaisons were voting members or their influence on discussions at commission levels; and how the City Council related as a body to other government groups and agencies (i.e., School Board).


Further discussion included past history and criticisms from City Council liaisons to the Planning Commission; education of the public and outside agencies of specific and appropriate contacts within City government for their particular concerns and/or questions, and whether a specific contact person was indicated.


Mayor Klausing opined that he preferred advisory commissions to provide him with their honest and independent opinions and recommendations. 


Councilmember Roe opined that if the City Council is paying attention to advisory meetings through their personal attendance at meetings or review of those meetings via tape-delay, they were aware of their discussions regarding specific topics.  Councilmember Roe noted that it may make sense to have a designated point of contact for those advisory commissions to help facilitate communication between the City Council and advisory group; however, clarified that he was not advocating for such a contact person.


Councilmember Pust opined that Councilmembers should not be on advisory commissions; and offered that she was willing to discuss the City Council liaison role on the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) as well if the City Council so desired.  Councilmember Pust further opined that the City’s advisory commissions were doing great work; however, the City Council was not always aware of their discussions outside their annual report to the City Council, and questioned whether there was a role for a communication link between the City Council and commissions.


Councilmember Johnson opined that perhaps the Chairs of each commission should serve as liaisons to the City Council to make the City Council more accessible to their specific commission.


Mayor Klausing expressed interest in Councilmember Johnson’s concept, and sought additional detail and how that liaison position would best function.


Councilmember Johnson advised that commissions had great access to in-house assistance through staff providing good communication flow; and noted that commission Chairs could serve as conduits between their respective groups and the City Council, similar to ambassadors.


Mayor Klausing reiterated his preference that the liaison roles for the City Council would be informal, allowing for continued independent advice from advisory commissions.


Councilmember Roe noted the original intent in having a City Council liaison to the HRA was to ensure a good connection between the two bodies.


Councilmembers concurred that additional thought needed to be given; and requested that staff provide an updated list of assignments and involvement in various groups by current Councilmembers.  Mayor Klausing asked that individual Councilmembers provide feedback to staff on their specific interests to include with the updated list for Councilmembers to facilitate further discussion and consideration.


Councilmember Johnson sought clarification on the original point of reference for liaison assignments, whether at the request of or from frustrations expressed by commissions, or in the City Council’s efforts to be more communicative with their advisory commissions.


Councilmember Roe advised that it was initiated from his review of other cities and their interactions with their advisory commissions and other government agencies.  Councilmember Roe specifically noted that roles of the City Council liaisons in the Ramsey County League of Local Governments (RCLLG) and the Cable Commission, and potential need for designated alternates for those groups.


Mayor Klausing noted his ongoing interest in serving as an alternate to the Communication Commission.


Councilmember Pust noted that part of the discussion should be whether Councilmembers wished to continue serving in their current liaison roles, or whether they were interested in expanding or refreshing their interests.


Mayor Klausing concurred, noting that there was value in continuity, but also value in educating Councilmembers in other areas of interest to aid their decision-making.


Councilmember Ihlan noted that a designee to the Cable Commission could be a member of the public, as well as a Councilmember.


c.                  Discuss City Council Strategic Planning

City Manager Malinen sought discussion from the City Council as to their interest in scheduling a special strategic planning session to map out the best way to conduct City business in the upcoming year, recognizing the challenges before the City Council.  City Manager Malinen advocated for such an informal meeting as a valuable exercise between Councilmembers and staff in establishing and updating annual priorities, allowing for a four to eight hour session specifically designated for such discussion.


Mayor Klausing opined that it would be an excellent idea; however, questioned the availability of Councilmembers for a full eight hour session.  Mayor Klausing, while expressing his support of a strategic planning meeting, noted the difficulties in the logistics, structure, facilitation, and organization of such a meeting.  Mayor Klausing opined that, from his experience, a Saturday morning worked well and provided a more informal setting. Mayor Klausing noted that the Council, at a minimum as identified in his discussions with Councilmember Roe, needed to discuss the timing and process for the Comprehensive Plan and incorporating required zoning and land use changes, as well as determining which Master Plans should be included.


Councilmember Roe opined that there was definite value in such a planning session; and further opined that the discussion needed to start on the City Council level before staff became involved, to establish the City Council’s priorities and then determine how to fit staff and their time allocations into those priorities. Councilmember Roe noted past discussion establishing Roseville priorities as a base line, and what had been done and what remained to be accomplished.


Councilmember Pust spoke in support of such a planning session, noting that a starting point for discussions would be a list of priorities established last year.  Councilmember Pust noted that, as part of that process, the City Council told the community that they would return on an annual basis, and suggested staying accountable to that framework.


Mayor Klausing opined that he would like to have staff involved from the inception in City Council discussions to provide their perspectives and priorities based on overall city-wide operations.


Councilmember Roe reiterated his preference for the City Council to meet separately, then with staff for both points of view and to provide a thorough, deep discussion on the City Council level to allow their focus to remain.


Discussion included budgetary constraints with potential loss of state funds in 2008 and 2009.


Mayor Klausing suggested to City Manager Malinen that he return with a memorandum detailing more specifics, and providing several options and their specific proposed structures, locations, logistics and other items for City Council consideration and comment.


Councilmember Pust requested that a date be determined as soon as possible, particularly if a Saturday morning was proposed, given the limited choices available with other individual Councilmember responsibilities and commitments.


Mayor Klausing concurred, and asked staff to consult with individual Councilmembers on their calendars and availability, while at the same time preparing a list of options for such a strategic planning session.


14.             City Manager Future Agenda Review

City Manager Malinen briefly reviewed bench handouts of draft agendas for the upcoming January 12 and January 26, 2009 City Council meetings; as well as Advisory Commission data showing those commissioners whose terms expired, eligibility for reappointment, and their attendance records.


15.             Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings

a.                  Councilmember Roe requested an agenda item at the next meeting for Council consideration of those advisory commissioners eligible for reappointment, or those preferred for interview at the request of two (2) or more Councilmembers, as per current policy.


          Councilmember Pust requested that staff make the public aware of available slots at their earliest opportunity to provide sufficient time for garnering interest and the application process.


b.       Councilmember Johnson requested an item on the next agenda to discuss the current policy for appointment of the City Attorney and other subcontractors, during current economic constraints, and whether the current policy and terms for agreements at three or six years was appropriate, or whether consideration be given to a one year term to ensure that the best interest of the City was being met.


13.      Adjourn

          The meeting was adjourned at 7:34 pm.