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City Council

City Council Meeting Minutes

Commission Interviews/Executive Session/Regular Meeting

February 9, 2009


1.         Call Roll

Mayor Klausing called to order the Roseville City Council Special Meeting at approximately 4:40 pm for the purpose of interviewing advisory commission candidates eligible for reappointment.


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


2.                 Interviews

          Those scheduled for 10 minute interviews were: Joe Wozniak (Planning Commission); Tam McGehee (Human Rights); Joan Felice (Public Works, Environment and Transportation); Gale Pederson (Parks & Recreation); and Margo Fjelstad (Ethics)


3.         Recess

Mayor Klausing recessed the meeting at 5:25 pm and reconvened at 5:30 pm in Closed Executive Session.


Closed Executive Session – Labor Negotiations

5:30 pm


1.         Call Roll

Mayor Klausing called to order a Closed Executive Session of the Roseville City Council at 5:30 pm for the purpose of discussing labor negotiations.


Councilmembers Present: Voting and Seating Order for February: Johnson; Ihlan; Roe; Pust; and Klausing   Staff Present: City Manager William Malinen; and Human Resources Director Eldona Bacon.


          The Closed Executive Session was held pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 13d.03, Subd. 1, immediately prior to the regular session for the purpose of discussing strategies for labor negotiations with union entities.  Council met in closed session for approximately 45 – 50 minutes.


2.         Recess

Mayor Klausing recessed the meeting at 6:23 pm.


Regular City Council Meeting

6:25 pm


1.         Call Roll

Acting Mayor Roe reconvened and called to order the Roseville City Council in regular session at approximately 6:25 pm and welcomed everyone; and announced that Mayor Klausing had excused himself due to another commitment.


(Voting and Seating Order for February: Johnson; Ihlan; Pust; and Roe).  City Attorney Scott Anderson was also present.


City Attorney Scott Anderson, at the request of Acting Mayor Roe, provided a brief description of the Closed Executive Session held immediately prior to tonight’s regular session for the purposes of discussing strategies for labor negotiations with union entities.  Mr. Anderson advised that the meeting had been adjourned into Closed Executive Session, pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 13d.03, Subd. 1, and had been in closed session for approximately 45 – 50 minutes.


2.         Approve Agenda

Councilmember Ihlan requested removal of Consent Item 7.c entitled, “Approve Agreement with Ramsey County for Supplemental Law Enforcement Services on Lake Owasso.


Acting Mayor Roe noted that a revised meeting agenda had been posted following distribution and posting of the original agenda, in which Item 12.a entitled, “City Abatement,” had been removed.


The agenda was approved by consensus, as amended.


3.                 Public Comment

Acting Mayor Roe called for public comment by members of the audience on any non-agenda items.  No one appeared.


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

            Councilmember Pust announced that the HRA would be meeting the following week; and reminded citizens of the upcoming Home and Garden Fair scheduled for Saturday, February 21, 2009.


Acting Mayor Roe noted that City Hall would be closed on Monday, February 16, 2009 in honor of the President’s Day holiday.


5.                 Recognitions, Donations, Communications


6.         Approve Minutes


a.         Approve Minutes of January 26, 2009 Regular Meeting

Pust moved, Johnson seconded, approval of the minutes of the January 26, 2009 Regular Meeting as presented.

                                                            Roll Call

            Ayes: Johnson; Ihlan; Pust; and Roe.

Nays: None.


7.                 Approve Consent Agenda

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


a.                 Approve Payments

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

ACH Payments


54165 – 54293





                                                Roll Call

            Ayes: Johnson; Ihlan; Pust; and Roe.

            Nays: None.


b.                 Set Public Hearing for Lake Owasso Water Ski Course

Johnson  moved, Pust seconded, scheduling a public hearing for the City Council meeting of February 23, 2009, to provide for public comment regarding placement of a water ski course and jump on Lake Owasso for the 2009 season.


                                                Roll Call

            Ayes: Johnson; Ihlan; Pust; and Roe.

            Nays: None.


d.                 Accept MDPS 2009 Safe and  Sober Grant

Johnson  moved, Pust seconded, approval of the acceptance by the Police Department of grant funds to effectively participate in the 2009 Safe & Sober Campaign.


                                                Roll Call

            Ayes: Johnson; Ihlan; Pust; and Roe.

            Nays: None.


e.                 Request for Approval of General Purchases or Sale of Surplus Items Exceeding $5,000

A bench handout via e-mail dated February 6, 2009 was provided by Fire Chief Rich Gasaway related to the Fire Station Entry System.


Johnson moved, Pust seconded, approval of general purchases and/or contracts as follows:







Remote control for compost turner unit



Pro-Tec Design

Replace Fire Station access system






                                                Roll Call

            Ayes: Johnson; Ihlan; Pust; and Roe.

            Nays: None.


Johnson moved, Pust seconded, approval of the sale of the following surplus items:





Sale of Ladder Truck #28

(by reducing the Department’s apparatus fleet, savings on annual maintenance and required certification testing will be realized; in addition to in excess of an estimated $8,300 in outstanding repairs on this unit.





            Councilmember Pust questioned whether funds from this surplus item would go to the General Fund or back into the Fire Department’s Equipment Fund; and questioned if each department had their own designated equipment replacement fund.


Finance Director Chris Miller suggested that monies realized from the sale would likely be returned to the Fire Department’s Vehicle Replacement Fund.  Mr. Miller advised that, many years ago, a unique and separate fund exclusive to the Fire Department for equipment purchases had been established, and apparently based on the high cost of replacing emergency vehicles and equipment.


Councilmember Pust sought clarification if this was still recommended by staff, considering best practices, for such a separate fund to continue.


Mr. Miller opined that, while not common practice in his experience reviewing other municipality’s finance operations, it was past practice for Roseville.


Councilmember Pust, with consensus of other Councilmembers, asked that Mr. Miller and staff consider the benefits of retaining it as a separate Fund, or combination of it with other department equipment and vehicle purchase funds for future discussions and recommendations.


Councilmember Johnson questioned whether this money would provide a surplus to the Fire Department fund, or have no impact on 2009 Budget projections.


Mr. Miller advised that $50,000 had already been removed annually from that replacement fund for 2009.


Councilmember Pust noted discussions held at the City Council’s Strategic Planning Meeting last Saturday, and the Fire Department’s presentation that due to reducing the number of fire stations kept open at this time, they were recommending that the ladder truck not be replaced.  Councilmember Pust asked that, as staff returned to the Council with their recommendations for best practices and which capital assets to replace, that this be taken into consideration.


                                                Roll Call

            Ayes: Johnson; Ihlan; Pust; and Roe.

            Nays: None.


8.                 Consider Items Removed from Consent


a.                 Approve Agreement with Ramsey County for Supplemental Law Enforcement Services on Lake Owasso (Former Consent Item 7.c)

City Manager Malinen, at the request of Acting Mayor Roe, provided a brief summary of the request, detailed in the staff report dated February 9, 2009.


Councilmember Ihlan noted that it appeared that the City had been paying for these additional hours since 1997; and questioned whether during that time a periodic or recent review of the additional hours, over and above regular enforcement provided for Lake Owasso, had been performed to determined if it needed to be continued.


Roseville Police Chief Carol Sletner advised that the department received an itemized notation annually with reference to the number of hours; and the need for services during holiday weekends, based on the City’s inability to get onto the water without some delay or involvement in coordinating other agencies for assistance.  Chief Sletner advised that citizens with homes on Lake Owasso had expressly requested additional patrols during holiday weekends on the lake; in addition to the location of the Ski Jump and Course creating additional traffic.


Councilmember Ihlan questioned whether the City should be paying for this, at the request of a limited number of residents; and whether similar consideration had been given for other lakes with similar situations; or whether a different arrangement should be pursued.


Councilmember Pust suggested that or the Lake Owasso Homeowner’s Association may be a better source for providing these funds, given their inherent interest.


Councilmember Ihlan noted that her purpose in raising the issue, was to consider whether this was an appropriate use of funds before the City Council signed off on the agreement.


Councilmember Pust noted that the Council had received annual reports from Ramsey County several years ago, and questioned why they weren’t included at this time.


Chief Sletner apologized that they were not attached to the staff report; and advised that Captain Mathwig, who usually handled this issue, was on vacation.  Chief Sletner advised that she would obtain and provide the reports to the City Council as soon as possible.


Acting Mayor Roe suggested that the item be tabled and heard in conjunction with the Public Hearing scheduled for February 23, 2009 related to the Ski Jump and Course, allowing for public comment on both issues.


Councilmembers asked that staff provide an annual report from Ramsey County related to water surface use and activity requiring additional presence of Ramsey County on Lake Owasso; in addition to additional activity during holiday weekends on other lakes within the community and Ramsey County jurisdiction.


Ihlan moved, Pust seconded, TABLING discussion and consideration of an agreement between the City of Roseville and Ramsey County for supplemental law enforcement services on Lake Owasso at a cost not to exceed $1,742.16, to be funded from the 2009 Police Department budget; to be heard in conjunction with the Public Hearing scheduled for Monday, February 23, 2009.


                                                Roll Call

            Ayes: Johnson; Ihlan; Pust; and Roe.

            Nays: None.


9.                 General Ordinances for Adoption


10.             Presentations


    1. Discuss Possible Changes to How Elections are Conducted in MN

Elections Coordinator Carolyn Curti provided historical and local election processes and provided several options that may help elections run smoother: early voting and mail only elections.


Ms. Curti advised that Ramsey County Elections Coordinator had asked if the City of Roseville would be interested in serving as a pilot urban municipality to test early voting and/or mail only elections.  Ms. Curti advised that City Manager Malinen had experience with mail only elections during his tenure in Oregon. 


Ms. Curti opined that there would be some cost savings realized in a mail only election, as well as early voting, as the City’s main election cost was due to staffing election judges at various precincts and for the labor intensive nature of absentee voting requirements.  Ms. Curti noted that staff didn’t want to hinder the City’s leadership role in the number of citizens voting, or in the number of absentee ballots; noting that the City’s voter rate was 90% of registered voters, compared to statewide voting rates of only 79%.


Ms. Curti advised that there were some advocates, including the Secretary of State’s Office, pursuing current legislation; however, it was not certain that the legislation would be successful.  Ms. Curti advised that Mr. Mansky had offered to attend a briefing for the City Council to provide additional information in a public forum.  Ms. Curti noted that Mr. Mansky, during his tenure with the Secretary of State’s Office, had written considerable election legislation.


Ms. Curti advised that, if the City Council was interested in being a test City in 2010, staff could draft an appropriate resolution indicating such for Ramsey County and the Secretary of State’s Office.


Councilmember Pust thanked Ms. Curti and staff for all their work during election season and in past elections, and for bringing these ideas forward.  Councilmember Pust opined that Roseville was a leader; and noted that citizens in Roseville already used the “vote early” concept, but that it was consider Absentee Voting.  Councilmember Pust opined that this seemed to be an obvious option, since as long as people were on site to vote early by Absentee Ballot, their ballots should be sent through the counting machines, at which time any errors could be determined and resolved while they were present, and ensuring that their vote would count.  Councilmember Pust opined that she was more concerned with the mail only option, expressing questions as to whether this would negatively impact or provide barriers to Minnesota’s option for same day registration; and whether sufficient qualifications were in place to facilitate mail only elections.  Councilmember Pust opined that the rest of the nation should follow the example set by the State of MN in allowing for same day registration. 


Ms. Curti advised that she could do further research with the State of Oregon and other contacts to determine if this would be a negative impact.


Councilmember Ihlan expressed her support of passing a resolution to volunteer Roseville as a test site; sharing similar concerns with mail only elections.


Councilmember Johnson expressed concern that the City of Roseville was able to maintain or improve upon its high voting turnout record; and asked for additional information on how mail votes were counted and verified, and how the process was best monitored.


Ms. Curti advised that other states use a system where each ballot envelope would have its own bar code for scanning; with mail voters able to access their personal bar code on line, via a personal identification number (PIN), their Driver’s License or Passport, or other number they chose to establish with the County Elections Office.


Councilmember Johnson expressed interest in continuing discussion, opining his initial interest with limited information; further opining that his interest was based on the potential for an increase in voter registration and voting in non-federal election years.


Ms. Curti further advised Councilmembers that Ramsey County was currently advocating automatic re-registering of voters whose address changes, so they don’t need to go through that process again.  Ms. Curti quoted Mr. Mansky’s statistics that ten-percent (10%) of people move annually, causing a forty-percent (40%) re-registration situation for every presidential election.


Ms. Curti provided statistics from Roseville, with 90 votes not counted: 41 due to not having a voter registration card enclosed; and a handful who didn’t sign their registration card for verification, causing those ballots to be rejected.


Councilmember Johnson noted the potential impacts on a close election just with those few ballots.


Further discussion included current and pending legislation from the Secretary of State’s Office; and Councilmembers requesting that staff contact the City’s legislative delegation expressing interest and to determine if there is another alternative, via the Government Operations Committee, as to support for election reforms.


Staff was directed to provide additional information as discussed, and return to the City Council at an upcoming meeting, with a draft resolution for City Council discussion and consideration for Roseville serving as a pilot community.


City Manager Malinen noted, from his perspective and observation, the amount of traffic through City Hall during the election season; as well as the considerable administrative staff time involved (i.e., training, staffing, etc.) and impacts on productivity in advance of elections.  City Manager Malinen, therefore, was supportive of any improvements that would improve efficiencies.


Councilmember Johnson asked that staff provide a cost study analysis based on projected staffing needs for either or both options.


Acting Mayor Roe noted that there would be postage costs with a mail only election; and sought additional information as to how that would balance out.


Councilmember Pust opined that, while cost savings were important, any investment in elections would be productive, while recognizing that administrative staff did have other duties as well.


    1. Roseville Visitors Association (RVA) Annual Report

Executive Director Julie Larson and Director of Sales Carrie Donovan, from the Roseville Visitors Association (RVA) were present to present their annual report of the RVA, entitled “2009 Destination Marketing Plan.”


Both Ms. Larson and Ms. Donovan reviewed 2008 activities and events; projections for 2009 based on current economics and ways being pursued to improve marketing of Roseville lodging in response.


Discussion among Councilmembers and RVA staff included improved website design and booking options; additional community affair and event offerings; and additional sponsorships and contacts.


Acting Mayor Roe asked that Ms. Larson review, for the public’s benefit, the relationship between the City of Roseville and the RVA. 


Ms. Larson advised that the RVA was funded by a three percent (3%) occupancy tax from local hotels that was paid to the City, who in turned paid it to the RVA; with the City providing financial and bookkeeping services to the RVA.  Ms. Larson noted that the goal of the RVA was to promote the City on a regional, state and national level; to cooperatively market attractions and events in the metropolitan area, while incorporating specific marketing for the lodging and hospitality industry in the City of Roseville.


Councilmember Johnson thanked Ms. Larson and staff for their very favorable presentation materials and their impact on the local business community.


Acting Mayor Roe thanked Ms. Larson and her staff, on behalf of the City Council and the community for her enthusiastic and professional leadership of the RVA.


Ms. Larson expressed her enthusiasm for her role in promoting Roseville and the area; noting that she and her staff was always pursuing ways to “think outside the box,” and since the RVA was a small organization, they were able to react quickly to various ideas and opportunities.


11.             Public Hearings


12.             Business Items (Action Items)


a.                 Authorize City Abatement for 2663 Marion Street

Removed from the revised Agenda on February 6, 2009.


b.                 Approve Lease Extension for License Center

Finance Director Chris Miller reviewed the request to approve a four year lease extension for the Roseville License Center at Lexington Shopping Center.  Mr. Miller acknowledged and recognized that, in the City’s long-term best interests, it was indicated that a City-owned facility would be better; however, he noted that several years ago the City had run out of space; and that the current location and it’s logistics to City Hall had proven beneficial.


Mr. Miller opined that, in the current economy, the earliest the City could consider its own facility would be several years down the road; while allowing for a process to determine what kind of building, where it should be located, and what amenities it should provide, or whether it should be specific to only the space needs of the License Center itself.


Mr. Miller provided re-negotiated terms of an average of 3.5% rather than 4% annual rates.  Mr. Miller advised that he had completed comparative research, noting that the City could possibly find less expensive space elsewhere; however, he noted that it would not be in the most desirable location.  Mr. Miller advised that the rate currently being paid by the City was considerably less than in other locations in the City of Roseville, as well as in that complex itself.  Mr. Miller provided supplemental information beyond that included in the packet, showing the License Center’s proposed lease gross rates over the next four years.


License Center proposed lease Gross Rate

Year = Rate/square foot

2009 = $15.13/s.f.

2010 = $16.03/s.f.

2011 = $16.52/s.f.

2012 = $17.01/s.f.

Existing tenants at same building are paying $23/s.f. on average

Marketing rate for new tenants is $21/s.f.

Comparable rates are $18 –$ 28/s.f. for similar sized space in Roseville

Proposed rates represent 26% LESS than similar situations


Mr. Miller opined that the City would continue to retain a favorable lease rate, even with the proposed increases; and that those rates would remain substantially below market rates.  Mr. Miller noted that the City retained a very good relationship with the mall owners; and that the location provided good synergies to the mall tenants, as well as to the broader City Hall campus.  Mr. Miller further opined that, for the time being, this was staff’s recommendation for the License Center location; and that the rates were fair to both parties.


Councilmember Johnson thanked Mr. Miller for providing additional information and a broader perspective.  Councilmember Johnson opined that the City Hall campus was certainly the best location for the License Center; that he was not a proponent of renting; however, he concurred that the current economic climate was not conducive to those discussions.  Councilmember Johnson opined the need for further and future discussions to accommodate that foot traffic within the City  Hall campus.


Councilmember Johnson questioned the mall ownership’s rationale in attempting a 20% increase in rent during this economy, when the previous agreement indicated their interest in retaining reciprocity.


Mr. Miller advised that the mall owners had a strong interest in getting the City closer to market rates, providing for a more equitable relationship for them with their other tenants.  However, Mr. Miller noted that they had renegotiated further in the City’s interests.


Councilmember Pust noted that a government tenant was more favorable since there was more of a guarantee that they would remain a good and productive tenant; thus suggesting that an owner provide more incentives to that type of clientele.


Acting Mayor Roe noted, and Mr. Miller confirmed, that the additional traffic the License Center brought into the mall should be a favorable consideration in discussions and negotiations.


Johnson moved, Pust seconded, authorizing staff to approve a four-year lease extension between the City of Roseville and the owners of the Lexington Shopping Center for purposes of operating the City’s License Center, as detailed in the Request for Council Action dated February 9, 2009.


Acting Mayor Roe sought assurances that, if for some reason there needed to be term or rate negotiations under this contract, that this was possible.


Mr. Miller confirmed that negotiations were always possible under this agreement.


City Attorney Anderson advised that the Agreement had a termination clause in four years; and also noted that the City had the option to sublet or assign their lease at the facility, with the approval of the landlord and specific provisions.


                                      Roll Call

            Ayes: Johnson; Ihlan; Pust; and Roe.

            Nays: None.


c.                  Reappoint Advisory Commissioners

Councilmember Pust expressed her preference to consider re-appointment of existing members at the same time as new applicants are considered; opining that the City Council defer reappointment until after all interviews had been conducted.  Councilmember Pust opined that this process seemed to give incumbents more consideration, rather than considering all candidates equally.


Acting Mayor Roe noted that his rationale in bringing forward candidates for reappointment at this time, was based on the City’s current policy stating that the City Council take action on reappointments to determine if any vacancies existed.  Acting Mayor Roe noted that there were vacancies on each committee, with the exception of the Ethics Commission.


City Manager Malinen noted that, Mr. Duane Cady (Ethic Commission) had been unable to attend interviews held earlier tonight; and had subsequently withdrawn his name for potential reappointment.


Councilmember Ihlan noted that this had been her rationale, even though she’d been repeatedly voted down, that this practice didn’t provide consideration of all applicants for all vacancies.


Councilmember Johnson opined that it made sense to consider all applicants together; and opined that there appeared to be a competitive applicant pool for vacancies.


Acting Mayor Roe noted that the City Council’s past practice didn’t typically include interviewing candidates for reappointment; and that if insufficient vacancies were evident on commissions, it would provide false expectations if there was reappointment, rather than new candidates appointed for those limited vacancies.


Acting Mayor Roe suggested that, after this process was finalized, the City Council may need to revisit their policy to determine if revisions were indicated.


Interested applicants were reminded that applications were available on the City’s website or at City Hall; with a deadline of February 27, 2009 and interviews scheduled for March 9, 2009, followed by City Council action.


d.                 Approve Contracts for Appraisal and Easement Acquisition Services for the Twin Lakes AUAR Subarea I Infrastructure Improvements

City Engineer Debra Bloom briefly summarized the request for Council action dated February 9, 2009.  Ms. Bloom advised that 60% of the plan had been completed and that it was now time to obtain easements to construct the first phase of the redevelopment area, including the stormwater portion of the project.  Ms. Bloom indicated six different property owners were involved, necessitating six  appraisals on those necessary parcels; and sought authorization for staff to enter into contracts to perform those appraisals. Ms. Bloom noted that the appraisal work, for obtaining right-of-way and easements from 12 parcels, with six different owners, would be in conjunction with the federal process and timeline due to federal monies being involved. 


Ms. Bloom advised that staff was recommending that the City hire the firm of Dahlen, Dwyer and Foley to conduct appraisals for the land to be purchased as right-of-way and for temporary construction easements, in an amount not to exceed $21,000; and hire a consultant to conduct easement acquisitions for the project, with staff recommending WSB and Associates in an amount not to exceed $19,520.  Ms. Bloom noted that the appraisals and acquisitions be funded through Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District No. 17; with reimbursement of these costs as developments come in, as part of infrastructure engineering and administration study costs.


Councilmember Ihlan questioned the need to hire an outside easement acquisition consultant when staff could and current legal counsel could perform the work in their regular course of business.


Ms. Bloom advised that given the tight timeframe, and current in-house staff loads of the City’s Engineering Department with $5 million in City projects to-date; and current work loads in the Community Development Department, there was not staff to perform the work.  Ms. Bloom advised that the City Council did not perform negotiations for easements; and assured Councilmembers that, in order to move Phase I forward, outside assistance was necessary.


Councilmember Pust questioned the anticipated timeframe for receipt of the first reimbursement from development projects; with Ms. Bloom indicating that the Park and Ride structure would be the first redevelopment project coming forward, with a portion of Iona Lane being constructed as part of their contract; including a portion of Twin Lakes Parkway drainage facilities to provide regional drainage for overall infrastructure improvements in the area, and in order to meet infiltration requirements for Rice Creek Watershed District.


Ms. Bloom noted that the project was authorized by the City Council previously; with an infrastructure contribution amount of $1.5 million for the Park and Ride facility; and easement costs included in the overall $3 million project cost; with DEED grant funds received to assist in purchasing the easements.  Ms. Bloom advised that staff would bring each purchase back to the City Council for their approval.


Councilmember Pust sought clarification on the revised formula for the number of trips based on the development of the Park and Ride Facility; with Ms. Bloom advising that those numbers had been revised in November, based on the revised formula for the number of trips during peak hours for the facility.


Councilmember Ihlan spoke in opposition to hiring outside consultants for negotiation and acquisition services.


Pust moved, Johnson seconded, authorizing the City Manager to enter into a contract with Dahlen, Dwyer & Foley, Inc. in the amount of $21,000 to conduct an appraisal for acquisition of right-of-way and temporary construction easements for the Twin Lakes Phase I Infrastructure project.


                                                Roll Call

            Ayes: Johnson; Ihlan; Pust; and Roe.

            Nays: None.


Pust moved, Johnson seconded, authorizing the City Manager to amend the Twin Lakes AUAR SubArea I Infrastructure Improvements Contract with WSP and Associates to include right-of-way negotiation and acquisition services in the amount of $19,520.

                                                Roll Call

            Ayes: Johnson; Pust; and Roe.

            Nays: Ihlan.

            Motion carried.


e.                 Approve Stipulation Agreement regarding Condemnation of Property by the Metropolitan Council for the Roseville Park and Ride Transit Facility

Acting Mayor Roe emphasized that the requested action was related to condemnation by the Metropolitan Council for their Park and Ride facility, not instigated by the City of Roseville.


Community Development Director Patrick Trudgeon briefly reviewed the request for Council action dated February 9, 2009 for consideration of a stipulation agreement by the Metropolitan Council for the Roseville Park and Ride Transit Facility.  Mr. Trudgeon reviewed several map exhibits indicating locations for various and temporary 10’ construction, and or access easements, as well as a small drainage and utility easement area.


Mr. Trudgeon advised that Ms. Lindsey Shepherd from the Metropolitan Council was present to answer any questions of the City Council or public.


Discussion included the City’s rationale for this request in facilitating construction of the facility to be constructed; and the City not requesting any compensation through this transaction due to their negligible nature and minor impacts to the City’s rights.


Johnson moved, Ihlan seconded, authorizing the City Manager and Mayor to enter into a Stipulation Agreement regarding the Condemnation Proceedings for and by Metropolitan Council for property at 2750 Cleveland Avenue for the Roseville Park and Ride Transit Facility.


                                                Roll Call

            Ayes: Johnson; Ihlan; Pust; and Roe.

            Nays: None.


13.             Business Items – Presentations/Discussions


a.                 Receive Centennial Commons Update

Mr. Trudgeon noted that Councilmember Ihlan had requested an update and he provided a brief review of the ongoing status of staff’s collection of information regarding rents charged and when they were charged specific at Centennial Gardens Apartments, and the City’s tax-exempt bond issue for conduit financing of this $12 million project; and related allegations of non-compliance with state statutes for tenants being overcharged due to miscalculations of the new owners.


Mr. Trudgeon advised that, based on assertions of Mr. Jack Cann of the Housing Preservation Project, and potential violation of the project of state statute governing the use of tax exempt bonds; staff was continuing their investigation of whether the project met minimum thresholds for providing affordable rents for at least 20% of the units.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that, while the investigation was ongoing and not yet completed, it had been determined that the developer had failed to include utilities in their calculation of rents when determining fair market rent; and that upon review of Mr. Cann’s assertions, the developer’s attorney recognized a mistake was made in those calculations, and the developer had subsequently reduces rents to come into compliance with state statutes and had reimbursed tenants that were overcharged.


Mr. Trudgeon advised that, as part of the compliance issue, if the project was found not to be in compliance, a penalty to the issuer of one-half of one percent, or $60,000.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that staff was consulting with their bond counsel, as well as collecting additional information related to the rents charge and when they were charged.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that staff was not ready at this time, to make a recommendation to the City Council regarding the penalty; and planned to bring the matter to the City Council at their March 9, 2009 meeting.


Discussion included how the developer had made the mistake in calculations; whether the developer and/or their legal had changed their practices related to other clients; whether other violations had occurred with this developer on this or other projects; and staff’s intent to determine stipulations based on when the City authorized conduit funding and when the bond issuance was closed.


b.                 Discuss an Alternative Budgeting Process for 2010-2011

Acting Mayor Roe noted discussions held by the City Council at their Strategic Planning meeting held last Saturday.


Finance Director Miller advised that staff had yet to debrief comments received at that meeting; but that staff was continuing to get a sense of the City Council on how to proceed and how to evaluate alternative budget processes.  Mr. Miller advised that staff’s intent in including this on tonight’s agenda was to instill the sense of urgency to the City Council and the community that the current way resources were allocated was not sustainable in the long-term;  and that how those resources have been historically allocated may not be in the City’s best interest moving into the future.  Mr. Miller noted that several years ago, staff had identified an alternative process to define desired outcomes and how to achieve those outcomes based on levels of funding; and that staff was seeking direction from the City Council for additional follow-up and formal City Council action on how staff should proceed.


City Manager Malinen concurred with Mr. Miller’s comments and observations; advising that he came away from Saturday’s Strategic Planning meeting with the impression that while staff could identify the types of cost incurred internally, external assistance was indicated in how best to proceed.  Mr. Malinen advised that the Department Heads would be holding discussions on Tuesday morning, continuing the concepts discussed.  However, he noted the need, from a City Council perspective, on the preferred timeline and how to best accomplish those goals to solve structural financial issues.


Acting Mayor Roe asked that staff alert the public to the rebroadcast schedule of Saturday’s Strategic Planning Meeting.


Acting Mayor Roe opened the discussion to public comment at this time.


Public Comment

Gary Grefenberg, 91 Mid Oaks Lane

Mr. Grefenberg opined that he was interested and fascinated by the proposal outlined by staff in their memorandum; and further opined that, based on his experience in the budgeting process last year, he would suggest one additional component.


Mr. Grefenberg asked that the City Council add a community engagement component as one of the goals to the proposed alternative budget process; allowing for transparent and accessible information, easily understood by the public.  Mr. Grefenberg opined that City staff was remarkably helpful in his understanding of the process; sometimes the interpretation was not readily evident.


Mr. Grefenberg spoke in support, as part of public engagement, an Advisory Commission for the Finance Department, chaired by former Councilmember Dean Maschka, with others sharing similar expertise within the community to assist staff in developing a process that was understandable and transparent to the public.


City Manager Malinen thanked Mr. Grefenberg for his comments; and noted that, as discussed with Councilmembers at the Strategic Planning meeting, this proposed conceptual process for budgeting for outcomes very much involved the community.  Mr. Malinen noted that the City Council decisions affected the entire community, its quality of life, and level of services currently enjoyed. Staff always envisioned that staff, the City Council, and the community would all be involved and would have a prior knowledge before the end of the process, of how they would be impacted.  Mr. Malinen strongly encouraged that the City Council encourage outreach and neighborhood-level meetings.


At the request of Councilmember Johnson, City Manager Malinen briefly summarized the next 10 years as it related to the City’s operational and capital improvement resources and budget challenges from a revenue and expense perspective.  Mr. Malinen noted that, based on various assumptions and current service levels, in order to maintain that level, the City would be required to increase property taxes at a rate of 17% annually over the next ten years, no longer providing that the City was one of the lowest taxed communities in the metropolitan area; but making it mid-range or average.


Acting Mayor Roe opined that, from his perspective, early in the process, he would like to see public feedback and reaction to the City’s 10 year financial plan, as well as the 10 year capital improvement plan.  Acting Mayor Roe asked that people actively seek to engage the City Council, as their decision-makers, as well as staff, throughout this process.  Acting Mayor Roe expressed his appreciation in receiving this analysis from staff based on a 10 year perspective for further discussions and prioritization, and in an effort to determine the service levels acceptable to the community as a whole.


City Manager Malinen noted that an advantage of long-term projections and planning was to provide the City Council and community sufficient time to make adjustments and improve various paths to avoid future problems.


Councilmember Johnson echoed the need to get as much community involvement and input as possible in providing various perspectives; citizen expectations; and what the community was willing to pay for those services and expectations.


Acting Mayor Roe indicated that, going forward from tonight’s meeting, additional analysis, discussion, and decision points would be coming to the City Council from staff.


c.                  Discuss Neighborhood Diversity Commission

City Manager Malinen briefly reviewed the staff report dated February 9, 2009; initial conversations with the City’s Human Rights Commission (HRC); and pursuit of goals and strategies brought forth from Imagine Roseville 2025 discussions.  Mr. Malinen reviewed, from his role as Liaison to the HRC, opportunities to utilize that group of residents with a slightly different focus or charge, allowing further community engagement; recognition and enhancement of neighborhood involvement and diversity; and heightened awareness of the City’s demographics.  Mr. Malinen sought to build on the recent forum on diversity and discussions for educational opportunities, celebrating ethnicity and cultures; with an overall goal of involving the community and neighborhoods as a whole in that diversity.


Mr. Malinen sought additional City Council interest and direction, or response to questions/ideas to pursue this further, anticipating drafting of an ordinance outlining those goals and that broader mission for the HRC.


Councilmember Pust sought reaction and comment from Mr. Grefenberg related to community engagement through this existing commission, given his past role as co-chair of the Imagine Roseville 2025 subcommittee dealing with issues of diversity and neighborhoods.  Councilmember Pust opined that she was supportive of providing this citizen group with a more defined focus to assist the City  Council in reaching out to all of Roseville.


Public Comment

Gary Grefenberg

Mr. Grefenberg noted his excitement when initially reading staff’s proposal; however, he cautioned that it needed to be done carefully and in concert with the HRC: to broaden their charge, rather than refocusing the group.  Mr. Grefenberg opined that making the HRC more relevant to the entire community was a positive step, allowing citizens to feel that they belonged to a community who respects them and wants to hear their voice. 


Mr. Grefenberg opined that people were getting tired of cynicism; that recommendations contained in the Imagine Roseville 2025 community visioning process, and expanded and further refined in the City’s Comprehensive Plan Update could be broadened through work of the HRC, provided the standard purpose of the HRC was not being replaced.  Mr. Grefenberg suggested that a clear understanding of diversity AND neighborhoods, not just neighborhood diversity was essential to facilitate increased sensitivity to intolerance.  Mr. Grefenberg opined that often people didn’t express their difference, which led to quiet intolerance developing into dissent.  Mr. Grefenberg opined that the City Council, as a component of their appointments to Advisory Commissions, should consider geographical locations of applicants to fully engage the entire community.


Mr. Grefenberg, opined that there was merit in this approach, if it was sufficiently planned out with the HRC; and he expressed his excitement with such an approach, and visualizing the assets in neighborhoods.  Mr. Grefenberg provided some anecdotal perspectives from his recent political campaigning, and those residents from cultures having limited English skills who had no sense that they were part of the community, making them dependent on their specific ethnic neighborhoods.  Mr. Grefenberg opined that they and the entire community could be enriched if they became engaged in their broader neighborhood.


Councilmember Ihlan noted previous receipt of an e-mail from the current HRC Chair, David Singleton, his hope that the HRC would be a participant in this discussion and the City Council consideration of such a role for them.  Councilmember Ihlan asked that this be included as part of the record for future discussions.  Councilmember Ihlan supported Mr. Grefenberg’s suggestion that the HRC be at the table before any further discussion was held. Councilmember Ihlan opined that is was important to recognize that historically, Roseville was the first metropolitan suburb to have an HRC; and that it was important that the role and title of the Commission not be lost.  Councilmember Ihlan supported expanding the role of the HRC, while retaining their legacy.


Councilmember Johnson spoke in support of the HRC broadening their capacity in the community, serving as an advocate in the healing process and, as stated in Imagine Roseville 2025, to abolish intolerance and creating neighborhood communities.  Councilmember Johnson opined this was very meaningful and important, to further enhance the small town feel of Roseville, recognizing the diversity of the community.  Councilmember Johnson opined that this proposal was very appropriate to achieving those goals.


Acting Mayor Roe offered no objection to taking a look at this proposal further, opining that it seemed apparent that the City Council wanted the involvement of the HRC throughout the process, suggesting that their role be in drafting such an ordinance for recommendation to the City Council, with input from the community.  Acting Mayor Roe noted the spontaneity coming out of the small group discussions held at the United Way facilitated diversity forum related to diversity and neighborhoods, with the focus on being a good neighbor, and that the conclusions that neighborliness seemed to be a way to address conflicts and tensions.


d.                 Discuss Campaign Literature

City Attorney Anderson briefly reviewed their firm’s written legal opinion dated January 12, 2009 related to a citizen inquiry on the City’s regulation of campaign literature distribution by groups or individuals other than a political candidate, and included in the staff report dated February 9, 2009.


          Conclusions and recommendation of legal counsel was that the City not consider adoption of any local ordinance limiting campaign literature distribution rights, based on existing state statutes and regulations, in addition to constitutionally monitored free speech rights.


          Acting Mayor Roe noted that, shortly after Councilmember Ihlan’s election to the City Council, she had initiated an ordinance providing for financial disclosures for donations over $50 to municipal candidates, which differed from state requirements.


          Mr. Anderson advised that he would research whether different limits were allowed for municipalities for that specific situation.


          Councilmember Ihlan noted that campaign financing disclosure requirements and expenditure reporting requirements were a different issue than those analyzed in

          this legal opinion.


          City Manager Malinen sought clarification from the City Council if they wished to formally accept this legal opinion for the record on this topic.


          Acting Mayor Roe opined that the inclusion of the legal opinion as part of the staff report and the meeting minutes of the discussion would serve as sufficient record for this issue.


14.             City Manager Future Agenda Review


15.             Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings


16.      Adjourn

          The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 pm.