1. Call to Order. The regular meeting of the Council of the City of Rogers was called to order by Mayor Grimm on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 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: Gary Buysse, Liquor Operations Manager; Jeff Beahen, Police Chief; Jeff Carson, City Attorney; Stacy Doboszenski, Assistant City Administrator; Brad Feist, Fire Chief; John Seifert, Public Works Supt.; Steve Stahmer, City Administrator; Bret Weiss, City Engineer; and Lisa Wieland Finance Director.
2. Open Forum
4. Approve agenda
The agenda was set as submitted.
5. Consent Agenda
5.01 Approval of Minutes from June 12, 2012 City Council Meeting
5.02 Approval of Bills and Claims
5.03 Approval of Resolution No. 2012-31, A Resolution Establishing Judges and Absentee Ballot Board for the August 14, 2012 Primary Election
5.04 Approval Resolution No. 2012-32, A Resolution Regarding State of Minnesota Performance Measurement Program
5.05 Approve Job Description and Salary Grade for IS Director
5.06 Approve Change Order No. 2 for the 129th Avenue Street Reconstruction Project
5.07 Approve a Proposal for Engineering Services Related to Completing the
Contaminated Property Assessment and Investigation (Phase II) for the TH 101 and CSAH 144 Interchange Project
5.08 Authorize the Preparation of Plans and Specifications for the TH 101 and Northdale Blvd./147th Ave. Watermain Loop
5.09 2012 Amended Rogers Budget (per annexation of Town of Hassan)
Bunting moved, Ihli seconded a motion to approve the consent agenda. Motion carried 5-0.
6. Public Hearings
7. General Business
7.01 Request to Construct an Accessory Building Prior to the Completion of a Home
Administrator Stahmer addressed the Council regarding the request from Rod and Julie Fenstra to construct an accessory building prior to the completion of the construction of the new home. Staff is recommending no occupancy of the accessory building until the home is completed.
Bunting asked to hear from the Fenstras to understand why they are making the request.
Rod Fenstra addressed the Council stating they would like to store supplies for the home in the accessory building. Mr. Fenstra stated they do not plan on living in the structure. Mr. Fenstra provided an update on the construction of the house stating the floor trusses are on and hopes to have on roof trusses by the end of the week. Mr. Fenstra provided pictures of the progress of the home construction. Mr. Fenstra stated they are not asking for any size variances; the shed being proposed is similar to the sheds in the area.
Bell stated he doesn't see any particular challenges with the assumptions made by staff.
Bell moved, Ihli seconded a motion to allow the construction of the shed concurrent with the main structure as described in the staff memo. Motion carried 5-0.
7.02 Audit Presentation and Acceptance of 2011 Audit
Finance Director Wieland commented on the audit process going well and introduced Andrew Berg, of Abdo, Eick & Myers who presented the 2011 audited financial statements to the Council highlighting the following from the Management Letter:
• Clean opinion
• Five year history of ending General Fund Balance; currently at 70.4% - the City's minimum is 45-50%
• $561,000 net positive expenditure variance
• Review of expenditures and revenues as compared to prior years
• Special revenue funds
• Capital projects funds
• Debt service funds
• Enterprise funds three year history; water, sewer, storm sewer, liquor
• Ratio analysis; peer group comparison
Mr. Berg asked for questions from Council.
Grimm asked about police forfeitures of $24. Is it a net of something? Wieland stated it's based on DWI forfeitures. Certain statutes that tell us what we can use money for. The most seen in the fund at one time was $8,000. The $24 is the net year-end balance.
Bunting stated when we talk about the peer group, are there any metropolitan peer groups in that size?
Berg stated if there are specific cities the Council wants to be compared to, let him know. Bunting stated going forward, would like to see more metropolitan areas in the 10,000 to 15,000 population range.
Council, staff, and Berg discussed the peer group ratio numbers from the Management Letter.
Bunting moved, Stanley seconded a motion to accept the 2011 audited financial statements as presented. Motion carried 5-0.
7.03 MGA Organizational Assessment
Bob Shellum addressed the Council the organization assessment prepared by MGA. Shellum stated he wanted to take the opportunity to thank the community for the welcoming gestures.
A lot of things have been done in the past 9 months. Shellum stated tonight he wants to emphasize a couple points made in the document. First, the facility is something that needs to be a top priority for the City. It's a risk management issue, employee retention issue, and it is important for the community and for the department. Shellum stated the assessment is not designed to be a blueprint moving forward, but more of a tool than a blueprint. Shellum stated Rogers is very fortunate to have Chief Beahen hired and reiterated that the assessment is not meant to be a mandate. Shellum urged the Council to strongly support Beahen when it comes to some new ideas with staffing and scheduling to maximize the coverage of officers on the street. The police officers continue to do an outstanding job. Shellum stated that all officers have pride with the community.
Shellum thanked the council stating when he talked, they listened, and when questions were asked, they were answered. Shellum commended Council for their cooperation and support. Shellum also thanked City staff, Steve and Stacy in particular, for being incredibly helpful and supportive and he really appreciated the way City staff had taken him in as part of the management team.
Lastly, Shellum thanked his public safety brothers and sisters. Brad Feist has been particularly helpful and we are re-establishing the relationship between police and fire. Mike Miller and the other 14 have been terrific during the time when he was here and wants Council to know what a good group of people they are.
Bunting spoke of the concern for the police department being foremost in the Council's mind. Bunting commended Shellum for the job that he did; boosting morale of the police department was nothing short of miraculous. Thank you for everything you've done and for the document; calling it enlightening. Bunting stated he appreciates the neutrality and professionalism in creating the document.
Stanley thanked Shellum for getting the police officers and department in believing in themselves again.
Bell stated he did a stellar job and the right job. Ihli echoed all sentiments.
Grimm thought there was a period of time where officers felt they could not do their jobs correctly. Grimm stated we needed not just a manager of people, but a developer of people and I think we have that with Beahen as well.
Bunting moved, Bell seconded a motion to accept the report by MGA. Motion carried 5-0.
7.04 Approve the Revised Site Plan and Additional Access for Bedrock Motors
Engineer Weiss presented the revised site plan and additional access for Bedrock Motors.
The following are staff's suggestions should council decide to approve the access:
1. The proposed access is shown as 18-feet wide and should accommodate vehicles from accessing the driveway from the north only in order to minimize the width of the driveway and proximity to the existing driveway to the south. The southerly radius can be reduced to prevent trucks/trailers from entering from the south.
2. Install a "truck/trailer access only" or 'no public access/enter only' sign at the new access for trucks to enter from the north only.
3. No vehicles will be allowed to back onto Northdale Boulevard.
4. A grading and drainage plan should be submitted addressing impacts with the new driveway.
5. Any additional costs for the proposed revisions that are outside of the contract that was approved by Hassan Township will be paid separately by the property owner.
Weiss didn't have a strong recommendation; if you feel this is in the best interest of that business he can support that. Weiss stated he doesn't feel it will create any issues. Weiss added that an additional item that came up was to eliminate the parking stalls that are next to the entrance. He stated he did work with Chief Feist regarding the modifications proposed in the packet.
Bunting discussed his concern for fire safety with Chief Feist. Chief Feist addressed the concerns about getting fire trucks into the property.
Bunting stated if the public safety people are okay with it, then he is willing to add the entrance.
Ihli asked the owner about the drive through on the lot. Ron Maas stated the aerial in the packet is an old aerial. Maas also stated he is not paying anything over the approved amount.
Weiss stated anything above the assessment agreement Maas will pay for separately.
Mass asked to be able to keep the four parking stalls. Weiss stated if we do have regular violations of people using that as an exit, we would want to stipulate that it will be closed off.
Bell questioned why using the second access as an exit is an issue. Engineer Weiss discussed the proximity of the number of driveways on both sides of the street stating it could create a lot of conflict.
Bunting moved, Stanley seconded a motion authorizing the revised site plan, including all staff stipulations that staff has requested, including the need to construct a gate if the owner violates the conditions. Motion carried 5-0.
7.05 Resignation of Mayor Grimm
Grimm read from the following prepared statement regarding his need to resign:
Rogers has been my family's home since the 1999. Since moving here, I served our community as a Council Member, then as Mayor, for almost 12 years. During my tenure with the City of Rogers there's been a great deal of change. When first elected, Rogers had about 3,000 residents and less than five square miles of land. Now, there's about four times that amount of both residents and area. We have changed from a bedroom town to a thriving economic and social community.
Many things have been accomplished by the city of which I am proud. Cabela's choice of Rogers for their building site was a landmark occasion. I voted for the incentives that enticed them to build in our city. Although this was one of the most controversial votes I made during my service I would do it all over again.
During my tenure, with the help of the other mayors and council members I served with, there have been several major accomplishments. The "fly-over" was a major transportation accomplishment that significantly eased the traffic congestion in and around the I-94/Highway 101 interchange. It marked the beginning of a unique partnership between our city, various transportation agencies and our elected officials at the federal level that has significantly benefitted our community. I would challenge future councils to continue to makes trips to Washington, DC in order to maintain the relationship we have cultivated. With our next project at Highway 101 and county road 141, we will have received over $30 million in funding for transportation project in Rogers – far more than cities much larger than Rogers.
We built a modern public works building that doubles as our city hall. We also built the RAC, a meeting and sports facility that's the envy of many other cities. While in office, the city was also instrumental in the building of our high school and junior high by donating land and funds for an enlarged gymnasium area worth millions.
Perhaps the biggest change that happened while serving is the completion of the annexation of Hassan Township. This process began nearly 30 years ago, when Hassan's Town Board approached Rogers' City Council asking to be annexed. It matured through the years and accelerated a few years ago. The annexation finally joins our community together both socially and economically. For some, these advancements were controversial. This is true of almost all progress, but the facts remains that Rogers is larger and is more financially-stable than at any time in the past decade.
There is still a lot that needs to be done. We need to continue to focus on parks, trail connectors, a walking bridge over 94, and city infrastructure. This must be done, but it must be done with fiscal responsibility.
While there is much that I can point to with great satisfaction, there are also issues that have caused this city much pain. The recent happenings within our Police Department were unfortunate. The actions of a few inflated this situation, accomplishing nothing but damaging the reputation of our community to further their misguided agendas. Former Council Members felt the need to grab their five minutes in front of the television cameras of local networks. None of these people knew all the facts involved, but regardless made damaging statements based on ignorance.
Regrettably, due to privacy laws, I cannot talk about most of what happened. That inability to talk, is the very weakness exploited by those who decided to make this internal issue as public as possible, but what the city did needed to be done. In an independent arbitration hearing, the actions of the city were completely upheld. Our independent consultant's first report showed that much work was needed in our police department to create an atmosphere of trust, fairness and respect. These are not my words; these are the words of a highly-respected, independent authority with access to all the information about the situation. Unfortunately, Rogers doesn't rate headlines for doing what is needed and reputations that were wrongly damaged cannot be completely repaired.
Before I tender my resignation, I have one request. To those seeking office, quit the divisiveness that, to this point, has done nothing but shed a negative light on our community. Instead of seeking personal publicity, put our city first. Don't spread lies and half-truths, but give all the facts. Doing this will make our city stronger. It is the right and honorable thing to do.
Soon, I am moving to Florida. The company I work for is transferring me to its operations in St. Petersburg. I would be remiss if I did not thank many of the individuals and groups that have supported me for nearly 12 years. I wish to thank the former and current council members and mayors I have served with. Although I did not always agree with decisions that were made I did learn and grow with each vote. Thanks to the city staff and consultants I have had a pleasure to work with. The citizens of Rogers should be proud to have such a professional group of individuals working on their behalf. Also thank you to the great civic groups. From the youth sports groups to the Rogers Lions Club you are truly the heart and soul of our community. I wish to also thank the many friends I have made throughout the years. Their council, advice, support and help will never be forgotten. They did a great job keeping me grounded. Some were a little more aggressive others and it will take years of therapy for me to fully recover. While it's difficult to say goodbye to this city I love, I am leaving it in good, capable hands. The Council will vote for a replacement for me tonight. This council has served Rogers well, putting the welfare of our city above their own. I ask all citizens of Roger to support them as they do the things that are necessary to move Rogers forward.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you. I am flattered by the trust you have put in me. God bless all of you and God bless the city of Rogers.
After reading from the prepared statement, Grimm tendered a written resignation.
Bunting then conducted the meeting as acting Mayor.
Bunting moved, Bell seconded a motion accepting the resignation of their good friend Jason Grimm. Motion carried 4-0.
7.06 Appointment of Mayor
Ihli moved, Stanley seconded a motion to appoint Jay Bunting as the new Mayor.
Bell stated it is a wise choice stating Bunting has good experience. Motion carried 3-0-1; Bunting abstained.
Council will make notice of a vacancy on Council stating Bunting's seat is a vacant seat.
Bunting stated anyone in the City who wants to put forward an application/resume, he would encourage that.
Council and staff discussed the process of advertising for the open seat.
Consensus was to have staff advertise for the open seat in the paper and on the website and collect letters of interest to present to Council at the next regular meeting. The deadline to submit letters of interest was determined to be 4:30 on July 5th.
Mayor Bunting awarded Jason Grimm with a certificate of appreciation and a key to the City of Rogers. Senator Klobuchar's office and Paulsen's office will be submitting letters of appreciation to Grimm as well.
Bunting stated he has known Jason for almost 10 years and wanted Jason to know how much he appreciates everything he has done for the community.
8. Other Business
9. Correspondence and Reports
9.01 Rogers Park Board Meeting Thursday, May 10, 2012 Minutes
9.02 Elm Creek Watershed Meeting Wednesday, May 9, 2012 Minutes
9.03 March 2012, Financial Reports
No action taken.
Bell moved, Stanley seconded a motion to adjourn at 8:15 p.m. Motion carried 4-0.
Assistant City Administrator/Clerk