View Other Items in this Archive | View All Archives | Printable Version

REGULAR MEETING OF THE COMMON COUNCIL

OF THE CITY OF EL MIRAGE

EL MIRAGE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

13500 N. EL MIRAGE RD.

6:00 P.M, THURSDAY, January 27, 2005

 

MINUTES

 

I.      CALL TO ORDER  Mayor called the meeting to order at 6:00p.m. and led the public in the Pledge of Allegiance and Moment of Silence.

 

II.      ROLL CALL  Present were:  Mayor Fred Waterman, Vice Mayor Michele Kern, Councilmembers Xavier G. Bedolla, Roy Delgado, Rick Monzon, Kathleen White, City Manager BJ Cornwall, Attorney Fredda Bisman, Police Chief Dick Yost, Fire Chief Roy Levenda, Finance Director Diana Betancourt, City Clerk Edith Hoover

Absent was Councilor Tensi Reed

 

A.  Presentation by Mayor and Council of Certificates of Appreciation to the 2004 Holiday Volunteers. 

            MOVED FROM REGULAR AGENDA

 

The police department helped 48 families for Christmas this year.  The City Toy Drive was a huge success, within a few weeks they put together something that should have taken months.  About 600 kids came and got presents.  The people that helped put in so much work in that short amount of time.  Mayor read each name and handed out certificates of appreciation.

Councilor Kathy White commended the Hepps for all their help.  They took us out and allowed us to shop at Luke Air Force Base and got us a discount.  When we said we needed more volunteers, they went out and got people.  Councilor White hopes they will participate next year.

 

III.      CONSENT AGENDA

 

1.   Consideration and action regarding the addition to the Salary and Job Classification Plan of a Code Inspector I which is a Range 51 with a salary range of $38,291 to $57,437.

 

2.   Consideration and action regarding approval of meeting minutes from August 26, 2004, September 23, 2004 and January 13, 2005.

 

3.   Consideration and action regarding approval to accept a grant from the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission entitled Local Law Enforcement Block Grant for the amount of $7,140 plus a match of $793 making the total grant worth $7,933.  Funding is to be used to enhance our communications equipment by purchasing equipment.

 

4.   Consideration and action regarding ordinance O05-01-01 amending Article 3-4-8 Purchasing of the City Code for the purpose of exempting professional services from the requirements of the procurement process when in the City Manager’s discretion it is in the City’s interest to do so and declaring an emergency.

 

5.   Consideration and action regarding resolution R05-01-02 amending that certain document known as “The City of El Mirage Personnel Policies; Article 1- Statement of Principles, Section 4- Personnel Policy Advisory Committee and Article 6- Dismissal, Demotion, Suspension, Section 2- Disciplinary Action Procedure.

 

6.   Consideration and action authorizing staff to renew Group Health Insurance with CIGNA and MetLife.

 

7.   Consideration and action authorizing a Special Event Liquor License for the Pueblo El Mirage Grand Opening and Charity Event to be held on February 3, 4 and 5, 2005.

 

8.   Consideration and action regarding resolution R05-01-06 amending chapter 13 Traffic; Motor Vehicles.

            MOVED TO REGULAR AGENDA

 

9.   Consideration and action regarding ordinance O05-01-02 amending chapter 13 Traffic; Motor Vehicles.

            MOVED TO REGULAR AGENDA

 

Councilor White moved for items 8 and 9 to be moved to the Regular Agenda for discussion.

 

Vice Mayor Kern made a motion to approve the consent agenda items 1 through 7; seconded by Councilor Delgado.

 

VOTE:            Yea: Bedolla, Delgado, Kern, Monzon, Waterman, White

                        Nay:

                        Absent: Reed

                        Motion: Carried

 

IV.      MAYOR’S COMMENTS:  Mayor would like to implement a time for the council to make comments after the motion and second but before the vote.

 

V.      REGULAR AGENDA

 

8.   Consideration and action regarding resolution R05-01-06 amending chapter 13 Traffic; Motor Vehicles.

            MOVED FROM CONSENT AGENDA

 

9.   Consideration and action regarding ordinance O05-01-02 amending chapter 13 Traffic; Motor Vehicles.

            MOVED FROM CONSENT AGENDA

 

Chief Yost spoke to both items 8 & 9 together.  In the past six months the City has seen an increase in the small motorized vehicles which do not fit the requirement for statutory licensing as a motorcycle or car would.  Several cities are banding together to ban these vehicles and the reason why is they are dangerous on the road.  He has received numerous calls from citizens who have almost hit these and they are noisy and make smoke.  The main concern is safety of the people.  He does not know how many calls he has gotten.  The change of the ordinance is similar to what other cities have done.  Yost met with our Judge, Attorney and the City Clerk’s office to write this.  There was question does this mean we are going to site every kid we see, no it’s not but there are certain people we get constant complaints on that this will give us a little teeth to make them stop.  It basically says it is illegal to operate these on public property in the City and illegal to sell them without giving the buyer notice of this ordinance.  You can ride it on private property as long as it doesn’t disturb the peace and quite.  It also holds parents accountable for their children.  It is a public safety hazard.  He asks for it to be an emergency because of all the calls he gets from people almost hitting these kids.  Chief Yost would hate to think that if we didn’t do something on an emergency basis, that someone would get hurt.  That is why he wrote the ordinance the way he did.

 

Councilor White says first of all this was put on an amended agenda which Council received Tuesday night which hasn’t allowed enough public notice as far as she is concerned given that we don’t have much entertainment for children to do.  She thinks the public should have been notified much earlier so they could have come and make public comment.  Glendale is currently looking at the same type of ordinance but they have held public hearings and such.  She believes if we did some serious enforcement of the current code, it would take care of many of the problems.  She would like to know why they would not pull every kid over.  Also, her daughter has a mini golf cart, is that going to be banned as well?  Chief Yost said technically, by ordinance, it would be.  But he believes the state statues states that no one less than eight years old can be cited.  Second of all, he would direct an order to officers that this is not what we are going after.  We are trying to stop the people driving hazardously, like at 1a.m. with no head lights.  Councilor White stated we could cite them for that under the current code.  Chief Yost explained that is the busiest time of the night and quite often if someone calls and complains, very often we don’t have the man power to respond.  Vice Mayor Kern asked how changing the code would correct that problem.  Yost explained he planed to start a period of warnings and put notice out in the water bills and such.  Second thing was to stop people and give warnings.  Thirdly give direct policies to the officers as to which we should and should not cite.  Example is if a child is riding a little golf cart in the street, he would expect the officer to knock on the door and say the child shouldn’t be out there.  But your child is riding a go-ped at 30 miles per hour or down the middle of the street, this would give some teeth to cite both the child and the parent.  Councilor Delgado asked Fredda Bisman, City Attorney, if one of these people gets hurt on these vehicles, what kind of responsibly is the City in?  Fredda explained that it would depend on the case but often when there is an accident on the street, we see a claim but the specifics of liability depend on the case.  Councilor Delgado explained he himself almost hit one of these kids and he reported it to the Chief.  Vice Mayor Kern thinks that our existing code seems to cover most of what we are talking about, such as operating these on major roads.  Chief said that is true.  If she understands this ordinance before them, it incorporates the new types that just came out as well as banning everything and banning them from operating anywhere that is “public”.  Chief Yost stated it also adds a section to make parents responsible.  Vice Mayor Kern would like to solve the problem of people driving these recklessly but she does not like the idea of setting something up where our enforcement is arbitrary.  If it is against the law to ride them then it should be against the law for everyone to ride them.  Example is a neighbor whose child has a battery operated Barbie car and drives up and down the sidewalk; she would now be in violation.  Chief Yost says yes she would be but they are aiming at the ones that go faster than that and drive recklessly.  Vice Mayor says that it appears that he is not trying to ban everything as this ordinance states but that he is trying to ban the nuisance behavior and have enforcement of items not currently covered and have the ability to drive by and ignore a person using these properly.  She wonders if there is another way to accomplish this.  Perhaps more from a behavior stand point than saying no one can do this.  Personally she doesn’t like them but she knows her neighbors do and there is no place for them to go and there is not much else for our children to do.  We are saying there is an increase at Christmas time because people went out and bought them less than a month ago and it is apparent that they want to ride them and now we are going to say they can’t ride them anymore.  As far as the emergency, if we were only incorporating the new stuff, she would not have a problem with in but the fact we are taking away what are currently their rights and then we are going to take away another right of theirs which is the 30 day period in which to voice their opinion.  Particularly since this item did come up just two days ago and as she mentioned to Chief, she would have felt more comfortable if he had bounced this off a committee or had some meetings with citizens and some input.  She feels she is being asked to make a decision based solely on what she thinks and not on what the citizens want.  Chief Yost says he can’t mandate officers to write citations.  This does not ban them from riding on private property; it just bans them from the street.  It is not the intention to cite small children for riding Barbie type things.  It is the intention to improve safety.  It is his job as Police Chief to bring these things before Council.  He felt a need for this.  He asked for an emergency because he personally investigated a child hit on one of these while he was with Phoenix.  Vice Mayor Kern said that if they are going to do a warning period anyway couldn’t we go out and start giving them warnings.  Chief Yost explained that would not work because he wouldn’t have the authority to stop them right now unless they are violation the current code.  She said he could stop them and say “Hey just want to let you know that 30 days from now, you could be cited” you could do that and let citizens know.  Chief Yost says that if you approved the first reading perhaps but no, he couldn’t just stop people.  Councilor White thinks we should have given the public more notice so they could come here to speak before we do any of that, even pass a temporary one or anything else.  She doesn’t feel comfortable with the fact that most citizens don’t even have a clue they are voting on this tonight and she thinks they should be able, given that they did go out and spend money 30 days ago for this stuff, to come in and have their say so before Council votes on it.  She also read part of the current code regarding head lights and reflectors, under which the mini motorcycles could be cited.  Chief asked where she was reading that from.  She stated it is the original, current City code.  13-2-15 E 1, 2 & 5.  Chief Yost said it is up to Council where to go from here.  If Council would like to postpone this and perhaps put something on channel 11 for the meeting on the 24th, he will be happy to bring it back.  Vice Mayor Kern agrees that it is his position to bring this forward.

 

Keith Turley 11521 W Paradise Dr.  his neighborhood is inundated with these things.  He believes it is the parents fault for not supervising.  It sounds like the Indy 500 and they rip through the streets.  It has gotten out of hand.  Perhaps we can find somewhere else for them to ride.  He has seen so many near accidents and soon there will be funerals.

 

Randy Thomas 12045 W Flores Dr.  he doesn’t think it is a matter of what the equipment is; the kids are out there having a great time.  He thinks it is a matter of bad behavior, it isn’t a problem if they obey the regular motor vehicle laws or are supervised by their parents.  We cite them for bad behavior.  He has a problem with the noise.

 

Vice Mayor Kern concurs with Mr. Turley , and she is torn because we have no place and we are saying you will not use these things anymore period unless you happen to have private property to ride them on.  She thinks we need to look- is there some place we can create or set aside to say you enjoy doing this but do it over here.  She asked Fredda if the right a way that we turned over to the home owner’s associates is private property.  Freda said it varies.  Vice Mayor said so the ones where it is private property, we wouldn’t be able to enforce this anyway, just on the street.

 

Mike Barvits  he can’t believe that the Council is even debating this.  He says that if someone gets killed on one of these, they are going to sue the driver who is then going to sue the City, it doesn’t matter who is right or who is wrong.  You guys are worried about their rights when someone is going to be killed.

 

Councilor Bedolla asked if we allowed them to ride on vacant land we had, if we cleaned it up, what our liability would be.  Fredda stated that it depends on the circumstances.  Councilor Bedolla is referring to how other cities have skate parks.  Fredda explained that those cities do not escape liability but they check into their insurance to make sure they have adequate coverage.

 

Vice Mayor Kern wanted to comment that the reason Council is sitting here discussing this is because the item was only posted two days ago and if she were to vote based on her opinion, she would say get rid or them but her position is to represent everyone’s views and ultimately coming up with what the City wants and she wants to give other citizens the opportunity to present their views before she makes a decision.

 

Mayor would like to see how the HOA’s feel about it.  Councilor White feels we should bring it back for public comment.  Councilor Monzon thinks we should put it on channel 11, and he tends to agree with the Chief that our children are in danger.

 

Councilor White made a motion to table items 8 & 9 of the consent agenda to the February 24th, 2005 meeting so we can put it on channel 11 and possibly have a public hearing. 

JoAnne Garret, Executive Assistant asked for clarification as to what they want on Channel 11.  (inaudible)

Mayor asked if we are going to give this to the advisory committee or ask the Chief to provide information from the HOAs?  Vice Mayor Kern feels they received 2.5 different opinions tonight so she would like some recommendations and bounce them off the citizens.  Councilor Monzon thinks that if we get multiple options, we are going to be changing a lot of laws.  Vice Mayor Kern says we are going to change the law regardless, it is just a matter or what are we going to change it to.  Councilor Delgado says that other Cities already did the studies so we don’t need to reinvent the wheel, we should create an ordinance just like Phoenix, Glendale and Peoria did, obviously people are getting killed out there  He feels that if we have certain streets that these can be ridden on then the kids from other cities will come here.  Vice Mayor Kern asked if he knew if those cities offered the children or their citizens an opportunity to do it someplace else.  That is the issue- they are not going to come here, they are going to go to the place their city offers them.  We are saying you can’t do it and too bad, we are sending our citizens to other cities, if that is the rational.  We are jumping on the band wagon of what other cities are doing but we are going to stop short.  Councilor Delgado said we are not jumping on the band wagon and until such time as we have money to put in a park then we will do it but we have to start someplace.  You can’t just have people killed out there.  Vice Mayor Kern stated we are going to create a situation where our children leave our city and go to someone else’s city.  Councilor Delgado says it will happen either way.  Mayor Waterman asked Councilor Delgado if he opposed us taking 30 days to look at this problem.  Councilor Delgado wanted to vote on this tonight with a 30 day notice to the public of what we are doing and if there are other options, give them to them, whether they need to go to Peoria or Glendale or wherever.

Fredda stated that we need to know whether the motion on the table is seconded.

 

Vice Mayor Kern seconded the motion to table the items until February 24thMayor Waterman asked if anyone had anything else to say before he asked for a vote.

 

VOTE:            Yea: Kern, Monzon, Waterman, White

                        Nay: Bedolla, Delgado

                        Absent: Reed

                        Motion: Carried

 

A.  Presentation by Mayor and Council of Certificates of Appreciation to the 2004 Holiday Volunteers.

            MOVED TO IN FRONT OF CONSENT AGENDA

 

B.  Consideration and action regarding convening into public hearing of the Board of Adjustment to consider requested variances from Zoning Ordinance.

Vice Mayor Kern made a motion to convene into public hearing; seconded by Councilor Delgado.

 

VOTE:            Yea: Bedolla, Delgado, Kern, Monzon, Waterman, White

                        Nay:

                        Absent: Reed

                        Motion: Carried

 

B1.      Consideration and action regarding a variance at 11817 W Thunderbird Rd. to allow a 15’ rear yard setback in B-2 zoning adjacent to residential zoning where a 45’ setback is required.

Senior Planner Mark Smith spoke on this item.  This is for a new Star Market including a gas station.  The 15’ rear yard is standard for commercial property.  Letters were sent out to the neighbors and no one objects so they are recommending approval.  Mayor asked what type of fencing there will be back there and Mark explained it will be a 6’ block wall.  Mayor Waterman is concerned about the traffic.  Mark stated the traffic study indicated that it would not cause more problems than already exists at that intersection.  The planning and zoning commission discussed it at length and they decided at this point they would not require them to close it.  The City could come back in the future and close that.  ADOT’s comment was the same.  Vice Mayor Kern asked if we are requiring any sort of road improvements.  Mr. Smith said no they are not, because they are not generating the traffic that is the problem.  Mark stated this is off topic; this is a rear yard variance before Council.  The site plan has already been approved with the stipulation that if it becomes a problem, the City can request it becomes closed and the owner was agreeable.  Mayor clarified that this will not be coming before them again.  Councilor Delgado asked whether the hours of operation were included when they spoke to the neighbors.  Mark referred to the owner.  A representative stated the hours were from 5am to midnightMayor asked Fredda if he could go off the variance at all because he had a question.  Fredda stated that use has already been approved so these questions really do not go, the only issue before Council, as Mark Smith stated, is the rear yard variance.  The Council does not have authority at this point to decide the use can’t go there.  Mayor Waterman still wanted to ask about the structure.  He wanted to know whether the lights would be flush with the canopy above the pumps.  The representative stated they were non flush lights.  Councilor Delgado still wanted to know whether the neighbors know what the hours are.  Mark Smith stated the Planning and Zoning Commission did not get into the hours of operation.  Mayor asked who sets the hours; he thought they should be decided by the City.  Fredda stated that our City Zoning Code does not give the Council authority over that.

 

Vice Mayor Kern made a motion to approve the variance to modify the set back from 45 to 15’; seconded by Councilor White.

 

VOTE:            Yea: Bedolla, Delgado, Kern, Monzon, Waterman, White

                        Nay:

                        Absent: Reed

                        Motion: Carried

 

B2.      Consideration and action regarding a variance at 14010 N El Mirage Rd. to allow addition of two antennas at 70’ and 101’ on an existing 102’ non-conforming tower in Gentry Park.

Mark Smith, Senior Planner stated that this is a grandfathered tower.  In this case they are co-owing; the height is why this is before Council.  Councilor Delgado asked whether this would interfere with electrical equipment in the area.  Mr. Stanbeck stated microwave antennas are a point to point contact, they do not radiate out so it does not interfere. 

 

Councilor White made a motion to approve; seconded by Vice Mayor Kern.

 

VOTE:            Yea: Bedolla, Delgado, Kern, Monzon, Waterman, White

                        Nay:

                        Absent: Reed

                        Motion: Carried

 

B3.      Consideration and action regarding a variance at 13706 N B St. to allow reduction of a lot from 60’ width and 5,532 sq. ft. to 55’ width and 5,071 sq. ft. in R-1 where 70’ width and 7,000 sq. ft. are required.

Mark Smith, Senior Planner explained this is a request to lessen the size of an existing lot.  They are not changing the physical characteristics of either lot; they are transferring the driveway to the lot next door.  They recommend approval.

 

Councilor White made a motion to approve; seconded by Vice Mayor Kern.

 

VOTE:            Yea: Bedolla, Delgado, Kern, Monzon, Waterman, White

                        Nay:

                        Absent: Reed

                        Motion: Carried

 

B4.      Consideration and action regarding closing the Board of Adjustment and reconvening into Regular Session.

 

Councilor Delgado made a motion to close the Board of Adjustment and reconvene into regular session; seconded by Councilor White.

 

VOTE:            Yea: Bedolla, Delgado, Kern, Monzon, Waterman, White

                        Nay:

                        Absent: Reed

                        Motion: Carried

 

C.  Consideration and action regarding evaluation of the Work Study Meeting process.

         REMOVED- DISSCUSSED AT WORK STUDY

 

D.  Consideration and action regarding appointing Henry “Hank” Pasinski to the Planning and Zoning Commission to fill the vacancy which expires June 30, 2005.

Councilor White stated that it was very tough to make the decision, they had three qualified applicants and she would like to thank each one.

 

Councilor Delgado made a motion to approve; seconded by Councilor Monzon.

 

VOTE:            Yea: Bedolla, Delgado, Kern, Monzon, Waterman, White

                        Nay:

                        Absent: Reed

                        Motion: Carried

 

Mr. Pasinski was introduced and Vice Mayor Kern welcomed and congratulated him.

 

E.   Consideration and action regarding awarding the construction contract for the El Mirage Rd. Reconstruction (P04-01) Phase II (El Mirage Rd between Olive Ave and Northern Ave) to J. Banicki Construction, Inc.  The bid opening was held on January 24, 2005 with J. Banicki being the low bidder @ $658,071.87.

BJ Cornwall, City Manager stated this is for the second phase of the project.  The bid award includes a 20% contingency.   The engineers estimate was $915,890.00 they are pleased it came in under the estimate and they had 7 bids.  Monday is the start date.  Councilor White wanted to make sure we are going with the 8” asphalt.  BJ stated yes.  Councilor White asked if we discussed with Rinker about the concrete under the asphalt.  BJ said he spoke to the vice president Mr. Fantana, we are meeting Monday morning to discuss a partnership with them.  Councilor Delgado stated that there are still waves on Olive.  BJ asked Jerry Horacek to make a note of that.

 

Rebecca Thomas, (mostly inaudible) agrees with Councilor Delgado that there are still waves and why wasn’t all of it bid on at one time to save money?  Vice Mayor stated she believed it was because of the length of time between the projects.  BJ stated it was because they could not have both roads closed at once.  Councilor White stated not all the money has been released so they will be fixing the seams before they receive the rest of the money.  BJ concurs. Rebecca asked about the businesses especially the concrete company.  BJ stated that is Rinker and they are meeting on Monday. 

 

Mayor Waterman asked what we are doing so we don’t have the same traffic problems.  BJ stated that that is why they are doing one side of the street then the other.  Councilor Delgado asked if signs were going to be put up.  BJ stated that there would be signs if this was approved as well as put on channel 11.

 

Someone asked if the discussion with Rinker was to include future damage to the entry point.  BJ stated that is part of it as well as sharing in the cost because we are doing something in that section above what we are doing in the rest of it.  Councilor Delgado asked BJ to make sure to remind them that it is their water truck that caused all the damage.   BJ said that is part of it and they were very receptive on the phone.

 

Councilor White made a motion to approve; seconded by Councilor Bedolla.

 

VOTE:            Yea: Bedolla, Delgado, Kern, Monzon, Waterman, White

                        Nay:

                        Absent: Reed

                        Motion: Carried

 

VI.      COUNCIL SUMMARY OF CURRENT EVENTS:  NONE

 

VII.      CITY MANAGER SUMMARY OF CURRENT EVENTS

BJ Cornwall says we are tweaking the intersection with the two turn lanes weekly and we will continue to monitor that even after the El Mirage improvement is done, we know the traffic count will be higher.  We have started the budget process.  He has had several meetings, letters and phone contacts with PERC and he is optimistic that we will have a settlement soon and should be closer to getting the treatment plant completed.  They are meeting Monday.  The independent audit that citizen requested, has been completed and we are awaiting final documentation and it should be brought before Council at the next meeting for review and perhaps we can invite the public to the February 24th meeting.

 

VIII.      CALL TO THE PUBLIC

Rebecca Thomas- She is looking forward to the Heritage Park but is concerned about who will be taking care of it considering we can not take care of our streets, the Habitat for Humanity park looks awful, our entrance way- how embarrassing.  You are saying the money you have to match the first year, the second year you don’t and so on.  She is concerned about who is going to take care of this park.

 

IX.      PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

Scott Roberts- Pueblo El Mirage- Thanks Council for approving their grand opening and the charity for Luke Air Force Base and would like to invite everyone to attend, they have done extensive advertising.  All the proceeds from the charity walk as well as 25% of the food and liquor sales will be going to Luke families.

 

X.      EXECUTIVE SESSION:  NONE

 

XI.       ADJOURNMENT

  

Councilor White made a motion to adjourn (inaudible)

 

Councilor White made a motion to adjourn at 7:46p.m.; seconded by Councilor Bedolla.

 

VOTE:            Yea: Bedolla, Delgado, Kern, Monzon, Waterman, White

                        Nay:

                        Absent: Reed

                        Motion: Carried