1. Call to Order. The regular meeting of the Council of the City of Rogers was called to order by Acting Mayor Jamie Davis on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at Rogers Community Center, 21201 Memorial Drive, Rogers, MN, 55374.
Council present: Acting Mayor Jamie Davis, Robert Bell, Jay Bunting, and Steve Rauenhorst.
Staff present: Jeff Carson, City Attorney; Stacy Doboszenski, Asst. City Administrator; Brad Feist, Fire Chief; Lori Kolstad, Liquor Department; Scott Lange, City Engineer; Jeff Luther, Chief of Police; John Seifert, Public Works Director; Steve Stahmer, City Administrator; Lisa Wieland, Finance Director; and Amy LeMieux, Recording Secretary, JASS.
Excused: Mayor Jason Grimm.
2. Open Forum. No one wished to speak regarding non-agenda items.
3.01 Staff Recognition Program - Rogers Wine and Spirits (RWAS). This award is presented to staffers who understand the importance of refusing sales of tobacco products to minors and refusing alcohol sales to minors and obviously intoxicated persons in accordance with Minnesota State law. This award also applies to staff members assisting in the discovery and apprehension of shoplifters.
Lori Kolstad, Assistant Manager for RWAS and the Municipal Liquor Store, requested a recognition award to Karen Doty who successfully passed a Hennepin County Compliance Check on February 7, 2009.
Motion by Rauenhorst, second by Davis to recognize Karen Doty. Motion carried 4-0. Davis inquired how many consecutive compliance checks have been passed by Rogers employees.
3.02 Officer Recognition - Zerwas. In December 2008, Sergeant Jason Foster nominated Officer Joseph Zerwas for the Hennepin County Chiefs of Police Association Traffic Advisory Committee's Officer of the Year Award. Sergeant Foster wrote the following description of Officer Zerwas' drive to excellence:
Officer Zerwas possesses a drive that is not common to all officers with regard to traffic enforcement. He consistently leads the department in enforcement and participation in this area. He exhibits a talent to educate through enforcement. This has helped make him a constant fixture of this community. His dedication to the community and his ability to educate is recognizable as you travel the area. Officer Zerwas has dedicated himself to preserving the safety of those he serves and does so without desire for recognition. His drive and commitment toward the community he serves has improved safety while winning the respect of the citizens. For these reason, I believe that Officer Joseph D. Zerwas Jr. is worthy of consideration for Officer of the Year.
Officer Zerwas was selected out of a group of ten officers to be one of the three finalists for the Officer of the Year Award. Ultimately, Officer Zerwas did not receive the award but received an honorable mention for his accomplishments.
Luther recognized Officer Joseph Zerwas, Jr. for his accomplishments and leadership in the area of traffic safety and education as one of three finalists for the Hennepin County Chiefs of Police Association Traffic Advisory Committee's Officer of the Year award.
Davis added that the City has great police officers and it's great to see an officer recognized.
3.03 Swearing in Dana Anton as Police Officer. Anton was selected from 300 original applicants and has been hired to fill the open police officer position.
Dana Anton stood with his family and was sworn in as a police officer in the Rogers Police Department by Stacy Doboszenski.
3.04 Code of Ethics with Police Officers. Every member of the police department with the exception of those on duty have volunteered to stand before the Council tonight to reaffirm their commitment to the citizens and Council of Rogers. This includes both sworn and non-sworn personnel and police reserve officers.
The police department personnel stood and reaffirmed the law enforcement code of ethics. Chief Luther introduced each officer present and stated that the members of the Police Department are proud to work for the citizens of Rogers and thanked them for the opportunity.
Council members thanked the Police Department personnel for their commitment and thanked the families of each officer for their support.
3.05 Presentation by Sheriff Rich Stanek. Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek addressed the Council and citizens regarding the County Sheriff's abilities and support role in working with the local police department.
There are 12 million residents in Hennepin County and 37 communities with local police departments. The County Sheriff's office defers to the local police to provide services to their residents and when dealing with incidents in their city. In Rogers, the Sheriff's office is a partner and service provider. There are mandates on the services the county must provide to ensure seamless coverage with no gaps in service.
Mandated services include 911 call answering and dispatch by the communications division, jail services and K-9 services including explosives and narcotic searchers, biters, and a bloodhound for locating people. The civil division handles mortgage foreclosure sales. The County Sheriff's office also runs a violent offender task force using local and county resources to locate and remove repeat offenders. In 2009 the task force seized approximately 200 illegal firearms and $200,000 in drugs. Crime is mobile and moves across local jurisdictions. The sheriff's office provides coordination by working across jurisdictions, leading to a decrease in violent crime. In 2008, Rogers had 28 cases requiring Hennepin County Crime Lab services. The Sheriff's office has special deputies who serve as emergency squad and mounted patrol and a warrant unit for specific searching for people and serving warrants.
Sheriff Stanek praised Chief Luther for his recent move toward firearm standardization for the local police department as good policy.
Captain Brian Kasbohm presented further information on the crime lab and patrol division. In 2008 the Sheriff's office spent approximately 31 hours per week supporting the local police department in about 250 incidents. The Sheriff's office also patrols waterways and lakes, investigates accidents occurring on lakes and rivers, and has an underwater recovery team.
The Council thanked Sheriff Stanek and Captain Kasbohm for their time and presentation. The Council requested an annual update from the Sheriff's office.
4. Approve agenda. The following items were added to the Agenda.
8.01 A short discussion on reporting Council meetings.
8.02 Update on potential trip to Washington D.C.
5. Consent Agenda.
5.01 Approval of Minutes from February 10, 2009 City Council Meeting
5.02 Approval of Bills and Claims
5.03 Accept Resignation from Mitch Manoski - Rogers Representative to Elm Creek Watershed Committee and Approval to Initiate a Campaign to Fill the Vacant Position
5.04 Establish Parameters for City Administrator Six Month Performance Evaluation
5.05 Approval of Resolution No. 2009-07, A Resolution Hiring Dana Anton as a Full-Time Police Officer
5.06 Approval of Resolution No. 2009-08, A Resolution Certifying Public Employee Retirement Association Police Officer Declaration - Dana Anton.
5.07 Approval of Bulk Water Meter Purchase.
Motion by Rauenhorst, second by Bell to approve the consent agenda except item 5.02. Motion carried 4-0.
5.02 Approval of Bills and Claims. Bell had questions about the Metro West Inspections, Xcel Energy and Streicher's bills. Staff noted that Metro West does bill monthly but is typically three years behind in billing. Since there have been fewer building permits issued in recent years, the bills will get smaller. The Xcel Energy payments of $5,054.75 and $891.94 are for street lights and signal lights, respectively. The Streicher's bill is for the purchase of Officer Anton's firearm. Chief Luther installed a new practice to have the City own the firearms of the police officers in order to standardize caliber to allow the City discretion in the servicing and armoring of the firearm. Chief Luther is also a certified Glock repairer, so repairs to firearms can be completed in-house. Counsel noted there is no liability to the City regarding ownership of the firearm in an officer's possession.
Motion by Bunting, second by Rauenhorst to approve item 5.02. Motion carried 4-0.
6. Public Hearing. None.
7. General Business.
7.01 Task Force Appointments. Staff recommends appointing two council members to each of the two task forces, Transportation Task Force and the Joint School/City Facilities Task Force.
Motion by Rauenhorst, second by Bunting to appoint Bunting and Bell and Rauenhorst as alternate to the Transportation Task Force. Motion carried 4-0.
Motion by Rauenhorst, second by Bunting to appoint Grimm and Davis and Rauenhorst as alternate to the Joint School/City Facilities Task Force. Motion carried 4-0.
7.02 (Cont.) Respectful Workplace Policy. The policy continues to extend to all employees, volunteers and elected/appointed officials for all language, harassment and behavior. The firearms section was simplified and includes officials and volunteers acting in their "official capacities" during the course of "official meetings/functions." However, Staff is primarily concerned with the day-to-day policy as applied to City employees.
Motion by Rauenhorst, second by Davis to approve the policy with the removal of "elected and appointed officials" from the firearm portion of the policy and moving "Destruction or theft of City/County property" from category 3 to category 4 under Examples of Inappropriate Workplace Behavior. Motion carried 3-1, Bell opposed.
7.03 Economic Stimulus Project Update. Lange provided Council with the list of 25 projects currently under consideration for prioritization by the Transportation Task Force. The current stimulus package for roads and bridges in Minnesota was approximately $500 million, with 55% of the funding going directly to MnDOT and MnDOT projects and 45% going to local and enhancement projects. Of the local project funding, $72 million is to be used as the local funding match for MnDOT projects.
The I-94/CSAH 101 flyover project did not appear on the list of stimulus projects to be completed with local funding, but did appear on the MnDOT project list. The Highway 169 reconstruction at I-494 is a pivotal project, impacting many projects on the list. If that project doesn't go through, it's very possible the flyover project would move up in the funding priority.
Council members questioned whether they should focus on lobbying for this project in Washington D.C. Staff is unsure since it wouldn't make sense to ask for funds that are already secured but would not want to forego asking for funds if the project is not funded through the current stimulus package.
Mayor Grimm will be meeting with the Mayor of Dayton in the next week to discuss their intent to lobby, whether for Brockton Lane or other projects. Staff has scheduled a meeting with Bill Richards, Oberstar's Chief of Staff. Staff has not received a response from Amy Klobuchar or Eric Paulsen's offices yet. Securing Congressman Paulsen's backing will be key since Oberstar is not likely to advance any project without the support of a local congressman.
The last item to discuss regarding the stimulus package is other agencies who may be receiving funding. The Public Finance Administration (PFA) through the Drinking Water Revolving Fund will likely also have funding to distribute. Rogers needs water storage during the peak summer months. Staff is writing a letter to the PFA to request they place a water storage tank on the Project Priority List (PPL). As was with MnDOT, Staff does not yet have all the selection criteria that will be used. However, by requesting placement on the PPL Rogers will be in the game. The PFA will be holding a meeting on March 4, 2009 to discuss how they will be processing these requests.
7.03.01 Additional Engineering for Phase I and Noise Study. One good indication from MnDOT is their request for the City to complete additional environmental work. This Phase I study is outside the scope of the project memorandum approved on February 10. Funds would come from TIF 1 with a maximum expenditure of $5,500. This item, once completed, would not need to be re-done for several years if funding is not readily available.
Motion by Rauenhorst, second by Bell to approve expansion of the project scope to be paid through the use of TIF 1 dollars not to exceed $5,500. Motion carried 4-0.
7.04 Delegation of Individual Sewer Treatment System (ISTS) Maintenance and Enforcement Requirements to Hennepin County. Staff will be submitting the draft 2020 Comprehensive Plan to Metropolitan Council on May 1, 2009. A comment regularly received from Metropolitan Council by other cities is to have ISTS maintained and tracked by an agency, whether by the City or an outside agency. There are 47 businesses and residents in Rogers actively using septic systems. Duane Hudson at Hennepin County Environmental Services manages the ISTS tracking system for the County and has offered to take over maintenance and tracking of ISTS within city limits. A total of 28 other jurisdictions in Hennepin County have already turned this function over to the County.
As part of the tracking and maintenance, Hennepin County will send a letter or memo to citizens that have not had a reported septic system pump in two years, the recommended average time for pumping out septic systems. If a septic system is failing, the County will require the citizen or business to install a new system or hook up to City sewer and water. If the septic system is minimally used, the citizen or business can apply for a waiver from the two-year pumping requirement.
Staff recommends signing an agreement with Hennepin County for the delegation of the City's remaining ISTS properties to the County for maintenance and tracking purposes.
Motion by Bunting, second by Bell to approve Resolution No. 2009-09, A Resolution to Transfer the Jurisdiction of Individual Septic Treatment Systems in the City of Rogers to Hennepin County.
Motion carried 4-0.
7.05 Foreclosure Information - Help and advice available through the Minnesota Home Ownership Center. Staff noted that 82 homes in Rogers went through foreclosure in 2008. There will be five open houses for citizens to meet with individuals to discuss options when entering the foreclosure process.
Council directed Staff to consider a rental policy for homes within the City aimed at protecting the value of neighboring properties. Council requested the newspaper reporters present to mention the foreclosure information open houses in their newspapers if space permits.
7.06 Youth Advisory Committee Update. Staff is working with Ryan Johnson, a teacher at Rogers High School, regarding the Youth Action Committee. Mr. Johnson suggested that students in the National Honor Society, students from government classes and student government representatives would be likely candidates to fill the positions. The junior class will be targeted since seniors would likely be graduating before the end of their terms. Mr. Johnson will work with other teachers and/or faculty to coordinate across programs and identify candidates.
Once the student groups are selected, applications will be made available and Staff would likely request school faculty to review the applications.
It was suggested that the Mayor and a council member make a presentation to students to motivate them to serve on the Committee.
Council directed Staff to change the appointment dates to correspond with the school year. This will require an amendment to the ordinance.
7.07 Strategic Goal Setting Retreat Discussion. Staff recommends that Council consider undertaking a Council/Staff goal setting exercise to identify primary goals and tasks that will guide Council and Staff efforts over the next 12 to 18 months. Such a planning and prioritization exercise would focus on big picture strategic issues as well as project-specific goals and tasks. Participants would include all Council members, department heads and appropriate consultants (attorney, engineer, financial advisor, etc.). The process involves pre-meeting work by the facilitator, a goal setting session (six hours or more) and a written follow-up report. The session itself should be conducted nearby but off-site (non-City facility) in order to help participants maintain focus.
Staff is very conscious of the budget implications of hiring an outside consultant. However, a neutral party highly experienced in municipal goal setting efforts and Council-Staff relations, is critical to a successful process. Staff is recommending a scaled-back six-hour session with Staff completing the timelines and goal report without consultant assistance in order to reduce the cost of facilitation. Given these parameters, the City should be able to hire such a facilitator for less than $2,000. This effort will produce a document that will greatly increase productivity and results through the development of a specific 18-month work plan since both Council and Staff will be working toward the same goals and understood approach.
Consensus of the Council is that a strategic session is a good idea. In future years, a facilitator may not be required to keep the plan updated. The meeting may take place at a non-city facility, but only at minimal to zero cost.
8. Other Business.
8.01 Recording Meetings. Bunting commented that since the microphones are in place, it would make sense to have an audio record of the meetings that can be posted online and at the library. He also mentioned having students or volunteers video tape the meeting.
8.02 Update on Potential Trip to Washington, D.C. This was discussed under item 7.03.
9. Correspondence and Reports.
9.01 Rogers Park Board Minutes - January 20, 2009. No action necessary.
9.02 Agenda for the Transportation Sub-Committee Meeting. Wallace Odell stated that he had attended the February 11, 2009 Transportation sub-committee meeting and asked if there was a way for the business community to contribute input. In reviewing the prioritization of projects, the first question is "What are we trying to accomplish?" He noted the urgency to get the funding to complete the flyover project but a lack of forethought regarding the consequences to local business if the flyover was completed. He referred to past studies and the inconsistency between the proposed flyover and the results of past studies which showed a signalized intersection at South Diamond Lake Road and CSAH 101. He brought up the interchange at Brockton Lane and the recent Hennepin County Sub-Area Transportation Study completed in February 2008 that showed an interchange at Brockton Lane and no flyover at CSAH 101. The Council has an obligation to ask how the proposals by the Transportation study group will affect the Rogers community and to exercise judgment, not just take consultant and staff opinions regarding these major projects.
9.03 Preliminary December Financial Reports. No action necessary.
10. Adjournment. There being no further business, motion by Bunting, second by Bell to adjourn. Motion carried 4-0. The meeting was adjourned at 9:28 p.m.
Acting Mayor Davis reconvened the open meeting at 9:55 p.m.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Rauenhorst to make a counter-offer as discussed in closed session. Motion carried 4-0.
11. Adjournment. Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to adjourn at 9:55 p.m. Motion carried 4-0.