1. Call to Order. The regular meeting of the Council of the City of Rogers was called to order by Mayor Grimm on Tuesday, February 25, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at Rogers Community Center, 21201 Memorial Drive, Rogers, MN, 55374.
Council present: Rob Bell, Jay Bunting, Jason Grimm, Rick Ihli, and Maureen Stanley.
Staff present: Jeff Carson, City Attorney; Stacy Doboszenski, Assistant City Administrator; Brad Feist, Fire Chief; Sgt. Jason Foster, John Seifert, Public Works Supt.; Steve Stahmer, City Administrator; Bret Weiss, City Engineer; and Lisa Wieland, Finance Director.
Mayor Grimm read the following prepared statement prior to the opening of the open forum: GOOD EVENING,
I WANT TO READ THIS STATEMENT BEFORE WE OPEN THE MEETING TO OPEN FORUM.
YOU HAVE BEEN HEARING INFORMATION RECENTLY RELATING TO THE ROGERS POLICE DEPARTMENT AND INVESTIGATIONS THAT ARE CURRENTLY TAKING PLACE. DUE TO THE NATURE OF THE SUBJECT MATTER, INVOLVING PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL PERSONNEL MATTERS, ANY INFORMATION RELATING TO THE ONGOING INVESTIGATIONS IS NOT PUBLIC UNDER THE MINNESOTA DATA PRACTICES LAW AND CANNOT BE DISCUSSED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OR STAFF.
THE CITY RECEIVED A COMPLAINT AGAINST CHIEF LUTHER AND SERGEANT PITTS. AT THIS POINT, THE COMPLAINT IS JUST THAT-A COMPLAINT. WE DO NOT KNOW AT THIS POINT WHETHER THE ALLEGATION HAS MERIT. NO ACTION TAKEN THUS FAR IS DISCIPLINARY IN NATURE. BOTH OFFICERS ARE ON PAID ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE ACCORDING TO STANDARD LAW ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURES, AND WHILE THE ALLEGATIONS ARE BEING INVESTIGATED TO ENSURE A SOUND, THOROUGH INVESTIGATION.
THE CITY COUNCIL DID NOT MEET OR VOTE ON THIS MATTER. POLICY REQUIRES THAT WE CONDUCT AND INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION AND THE CITY COUNCIL HAS AUTHORIZED THE CITY ADMINISTRATION (STAFF WITH ADVICE OF COUNSEL) TO DECIDE WHETHER TO PLACE OFFICERS ON PAID ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE.
WHEN YOU SPEAK AT PUBLIC FORUM TONIGHT, I WOULD ASK YOU TO CONSIDER THE SENSITIVITY OF THIS MATTER AND PLEASE AVOID STATEMENTS OR QUESTIONS RELATING TO PRIVATE OR CONFIDENTIAL PERSONNEL MATTERS. ALSO, PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THE CITY COUNCIL HAS BEEN ADVISED BY THEIR ATTORNEY THAT THEY MAY NOT RESPOND TO ANY STATEMENTS THAT ARE MADE. WHEN THE INVESTIGATIVE PROCESS IS COMPLETE, WE WILL BE AS OPEN AND FURTHCOMING AS POSSIBLE WITH THAT INFORMATION, WITHIN LEGAL LIMITS. UNTIL THEN, WE ASK FOR YOUR PATIENCE IN ALLOWING CITY STAFF AND THE CITY COUNCIL THE TIME NECESSARY TO COMPLETE THE WORK THAT IS REQUIRED.
THE ROGERS POLICE DEPARTMENT CONTINUES TO PROVIDE A HIGH LEVEL OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND THAT COMMITMENT HAS NOT CHANGED. WE WILL CONTINUE TO SEE THAT THE DEPARTMENT PERFORMS ITS DUTIES FOR THE SAFETY OF THE COMMUNITY. THANK YOU.
2. Open Forum. Scott Adams – ResignationMr. Adams addressed the Council and read the following prepared statement. *CONTACT THE CITY FOR A COPY OF THE STATEMENT
Steve Rauenhorst – ConductSteve Rauenhorst addressed the Council and read the following prepared statement:The reason I am here tonight is to talk about conduct. First, threatening behavior presented by Councilmember Jay Bunting.Councilmember Bunting on more than one occasion I have been told that you informed third parties that you are “gunning for me” and that you are out to get my friends and me.I personally have heard you say on numerous occasions that perception is reality, so should I perceive your comments as reality? In other words should I perceive that you are really openly threatening my friends and me?I would expect you to show some resemblance of a man of honor and have the guts to talk to me directly and not make these comments to a third party, or maybe I set my expectations too high.Secondly, I would also like to talk about the suspension of Chief Luther and Sgt. Pitts. I have known these two for several years and at no time have I ever questioned their credibility and trustworthiness. Chief Luther has been nothing but professional in his actions and moved our Police Dept. forward into the 21st century. Chief Luther and Sgt. Pitts have worked together to raise the professional image of the Rogers Police Dept. by holding people accountable for their actions, maybe that is why you are trying to get rid of them?Chief Luther has 30 years in policing and no complaints now you appear to trump up some charges because of your friendships with those who will directly benefit by this move is very shameful.Jamie Davis mentioned in his interview with Fox 9 that he believed the good old boy network is back. This is not good for our city and it leads me to question the motive behind the recent actions.Based on the recent Fox 9 News story it would seem to me that you are on a witch hunt to discredit and find a way to remove Chief Luther and Sgt. Pitts by any means necessary. According to that story the Chief was preparing to fire Capt. Miller for withholding a witness I know that Capt. Miller is a friend to some and godfather to the Mayor’s daughter. To destroy these lives for your friend is wrong. These actions could open the city up for large law suits, all for the sake your friend.As for Sgt. Pitts, to go after her for doing her job and getting a drunk driver off the streets (someone who happens to be one of your largest campaign donors) is also very suspicious, and should be cause for great concern to tax payers. Additionally one last thing, administrator Stahmer when a news team requests complete copies of public documents please be proper and forthcoming so you don’t continue to embarrass our city. Thank you, have a great day. James Sarkilahti, 22655 Breezewood LaneMr. Sarkilahti addressed the Council stating City staff has done a great job in keeping the streets clean with all the snow; he appreciates that.
Mr. Sarkilahti then discussed the Fox 9 news story. He stated this is the third elected administration since he has been a Rogers citizen, a little over 10 years. Every administration has their faults. The last thing he wants to see is Rogers on Fox news concerning something like this. The last thing he wants is a good ‘ol boy network. Knows what it is, had it before and it continues on. People on the Council that have their own agenda and could care less for what the citizens think. He stated he is embarrassed by this administration and does not want to be embarrassed anymore. Voted for a lot of you, beside myself for what is going on. Don’t know the Chief and don’t know the Sergeant. There’s something fishy here. Do your jobs. Let the public know what is going on instead of doing it behind closed doors. Do it in the public. Search your conscious. Don’t railroad these people. Support Rogers businesses. He stated he goes into Rogers restaurants and people are bad-mouthing Rogers. I love this City. I see you have plans for 129th Avenue – leave it the way it is. Mr. Sarkilahti then spoke on 129th Avenue and the dilemma with Main Street and the railroad tracks.
3. Presentations. None.
4. Approve agenda. No items were added to the agenda. Agenda was set as submitted.
5. Consent Agenda. 5.01 Approval of Minutes February 8, 2011 City Council Meeting 5.02 Approval of Bills and Claims 5.03 Approval to Order 2 Squads for the Police Dept. by March 1 for 2011 5.04 Consideration of Approving Resolution No. 2011-05, A Resolution Supporting the Functional Classification Change of CSAH 116 to an A Minor Expander from CSAH 81 to CSAH 30 5.05 Schedule Work Session to Discuss Annexation Date and MOUBunting moved, Ihli seconded a motion to approve the consent agenda. Motion carried 5-0.
6. Public HearingsNone.
7. General Business 7.01 US Bank Investment Program Presentation by Jason FolkenFinance Director Wieland provided background information to Council regarding the City’s current investment program. Wieland spoke on discretionary investment management as a service highlighting the benefit of experience of the investors, the revenue benefit to the City, and increased time for staff to work on other projects. Wieland introduced Jason Folken and Lucille Rehkamp from US Bank. Mr. Folken provided a Powerpoint presentation, his background, and the background of services provided by US Bank. Ms. Rehkamp then provided a more detailed description of the investment services US Bank offers. Mr. Folken discussed consolidated reporting with Council. Also reviewed were examples of asset categories along with a list of references of US Bank.
Mayor Grimm commented on the fact sheet stating he likes it and noted they are rated top amongst competing banks.
Bunting asked what other cities the size of Rogers US Bank provides services to. Mr. Folken stated they can provide a complete list of references. Ms. Rehkamp stated they do run a portfolio for the City of Longsdale, PA which is about the same size as the City of Rogers.
Wieland stated $11.7 million is sitting in the investment portfolio. Wieland discussed the 4M Fund, Sweep Account with Wells Fargo, and the current cash balances. Wieland stated US Bank can provide a constant monitoring of the City’s portfolio.
Grimm asked Wieland to explain the $21 million stating that it is not all available City money to do what we want with. Wieland stated there are about 40 different funds making up the $21 million with many of them restricted to specific spending purposes.
Wieland clarified the entire available portfolio is not being turned over to US Bank; about a third to a half of the portfolio would be given to US Bank for investments.
Bunting moved, Bell seconded a motion to hire U.S. Bank as the discretionary investment manager and custodian for the City of Rogers investment portfolio. Bell stated staff has done a good job researching and providing the information.Motion carried 5-0.
7.02 Consider Design Options for the 129th Ave Street Reconstruction ProjectEngineer Weiss addressed the Council regarding the 129th Avenue reconstruction project stating the residents along 129th have been great to work with and have provided a lot of good feedback.Weiss stated the Transportation Task Force has discussed the options available to Council and there are concepts to be presented to Council for consideration.
Weiss reviewed the various concepts with Council: • Narrow roadway to 36 foot wide width in areas• No center left turn lanes would be accommodated at this time• Future redevelopment of the properties would require widening for the turn lanes• Consider curves in the roadway at the Kinghorn and Weber properties to avoid property impacts• Obtain right-of-way at Revere Investment property across from Gray Fox Trail. • Pathway width; easiest to maintain with 10 foot width• Boulevard width 8 feet and 10 feet• Landscaping; maintenance for landscaped median and boulevard trees are not proposed between pathway and curb. • Construction costs for design options $130,000 to $145,00 more than a no median optionWeiss expressed his opinion on having landscaped medians.
Bell asked which medians would be landscaped and which would be concrete. Weiss explained on the wider areas, more than 4 feet wide, would be landscaped.
Grimm commented on changes he would have made to the concrete medians on the County Road 81 project if he had the ability to do that over again.
One resident stated he doesn’t feel it’s necessary to spend the money on the medians. Can’t the money be spent somewhere else.
Mr. Weber talked about having to go over the curb. There was discussion on how farm equipment would travel along the road.
Bell asked if the trees are being taken care of that were a concern. Weiss stated the roadway is being narrowed to accommodate the trees.
Ihli asked about the benefits of the medians. Weiss spoke on the aesthetics and the traffic calming effect stating the future traffic projections are 12,000 vehicles per day.
Darren Jakel questioned if the concrete curbs can slope; as in handicapped curbs. Weiss stated surmountable curbs are not being proposed.
A 17 year resident spoke on his multiple concerns with putting a median in the road.Weiss tried to address all points made by the resident.
Bunting stated he is an advocate of the medians and he continues to take the view of the road being a longer term road; a 30 to 50 year road. In his opinion, staff has come up with good compromises allowing keeping some median while backing away from the Hasbroucks. Bunting stated, at this point, would like to see it continue with fewer medians in the latest design. See what we can do on the east end to avoid what residents don’t like in that area. Look at curbing options to make them better. He knows it is more money, but in the end can make it aesthetically more pleasing. Thinks the current design is a compromise.
Bell stated in his view, given the road needs to be reconstructed; can’t be paved over as is. The process of reconstruction is expensive; when you do that it needs to last for a significant period of time. The project requires the road to be widened a bit. Staff has tried to find ways to widen where needed and bring it back where it is not. Bell commented on the existing trail being right next to the road in many spots. Thinks it’s an important element of the design to have distance between the path and the roadway. Bell commented on the benefit of having small medians at the intersections. Bell addressed the farm equipment and the need to run over the curb with the equipment.
Stanley commented on the narrowing of the median in front of Neil Weber’s at Arthur Street. She discussed the left turn from the west not being necessary (at Arthur Street). She stated she likes the partial medians and the protected left turns at the intersections that have stop signs and also likes the 10 foot width on the boulevard for the safety of the citizens. Supports the medians, but eliminate the one at Arthur Street.
Ihli, wants to make sure the residents are moderately satisfied. He stated he is not a big fan of medians. If they solve the slowing of traffic, that’s great.
Stahmer asked for Bret’s recommendation and his opinion. Is he leaning toward the limited medians as described tonight? Brett stated he is in favor of the medians.
Bunting moved, Bell seconded a motion to approve the plan with the caveat that we need to review the curb in the Kinghorn/Weber area, review the need for a left turn onto Arthur Street and the width or necessity of the median at Arthur Street, and the curbing style at the median areas. Motion carried 4-1; Ihli opposed.
8. Other Business
9. Correspondence and Reports 9.01 Approval of Park Board Minutes 9.02 Update on Transportation Task Force
10. Adjourn to closed session to discuss proposed property acquisitions for public purpose; reconvene to open sessionMayor Grimm adjourned the meeting to closed session at 8:25 p.m.
11. Reconvene to Open MeetingCouncil reconvened to open session at 9:07 p.m.
Attorney Carson read the recommended motions to Council:Bunting moved, Ihli seconded a motion authorizing the Mayor and Clerk to enter into a purchase agreement with the Dahlheimer Real Estate Family Partnership for the three parcels listed in purchase agreement for $250,000. Motion carried 5-0.
Bunting moved, Stanley seconded a motion to authorize payment of one-half of the 2011 taxes due and owing on the tax forfeited parcel to be repurchased by the Dahlheimer, we are to be responsible for one-half of $18,981.80, with the Dahlheimer Real Estate Family Partnership responsible for the other half. Motion carried 5-0.
Bunting moved, Bell seconded a motion authorizing the following expenditures relating to the purchase of the parcels: $195,624.16 to the Dahlheimer Real Estate Family Partnership, $41.10 to the Hennepin County Recorder, and $687.55 to Old Republic Title. Motion carried 5-0.
12. AdjournBunting moved, Bell seconded a motion to adjourn at 9:10 p.m. Motion carried 5-0.
Respectfully submitted,Stacy DoboszenskiAssistant City Administrator/Clerk