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REGULAR MEETING OF THE COMMON COUNCIL

OF THE CITY OF EL MIRAGE

EL MIRAGE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

13500 N. EL MIRAGE ROAD

6:00 P.M., THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2006

 

Minutes

I.                    CALL TO ORDER – The meeting was called to order by Mayor Fred Waterman at 6:00 p.m.  Council led the public in the Pledge of Allegiance and a Moment of Silence.

 

II.                  ROLL CALL – Present were:  Mayor Fred Waterman, Vice Mayor Michele Kern, Councilor Xavier Bedolla, Councilor Roy Delgado, Councilor Rick Monzon, Councilor Bill Conner, City Manager B.J. Cornwall, Attorney Cliff Mattice, City Engineer Chris Young, Assistant Police Chief Ken Holmes, Finance Director Larry Price, City Clerk Edith Hoover.  Excused:  Fire Chief Scott Alvord.

 

III.                CONSENT AGENDA

 

1.                  Consideration and action approving Council Minutes from the Regular Council Meetings of September 14 and 28, 2006 and the Special Council Meeting of September 19, 2006.

 

Councilor Delgado made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda; seconded by Councilor Conner.

 

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

                  Nay:   

                  Motion:  Carried

 

IV.               MAYOR’S COMMENTS

 

Mayor Fred Waterman stated that this is a happy night for the city as a whole and for the employees.  The Mayor said that the city has come back to being a vibrant city with the help of the employees.

 

V.                 REGULAR AGENDA

 

A.     Presentation by Ruth Ann Elidge of Waters Consulting regarding the City of El Mirage Classification Plan.

 

Ms. Elidge said that the study will help establish a very sound compensation system that will allow the city to attract and retain good employees.

 

The project began by collecting information from employees about their job descriptions which was reviewed by supervisors and managers before the documents were submitted to the Water’s Company.  Ms. Elidge said that the main thing that made this project successful was the involvement of people at all levels in the city.

 

Besides involvement from the employees, market data was used from 15 similar organizations.  A range of organizations were used from smaller, larger, closer, farther and of similar geographic and economic factors that allowed to create a solid base of market data.

 

The study found that both pay structures and employee salaries were behind.  The pay structures were behind roughly 20% and employee salaries were behind over 15%.

 

The Waters Consultant Company recommends that the City of El Mirage use the 75% of the weighted average salaries.  This would put employees in the top 25% of all of the responses received from the collection of market data.

 

The new pay structure has been simplified form 30 different pay grades to only 15 which allowed a more normal mid-point progression from one pay grade to the next which reflected what market was paying.

 

Councilor Rick Monzon asked what types of methods were used to collect the data.

 

Ruth Ann Elidge said that they created a customized survey for each job description and were sent out to fifteen different organizations to have their Human Resources division match up salaries for each similar job description.

 

Councilor Roy Delgado asked Ruth Ann Elidge whether or not the Waters Consulting Company created a structure for future compensation so the city does not fall behind.

 

Ruth Ann Elidge stated that part of their recommendation is to have an annual review of the market and to adjust the structures based on the market.

 

 

B.    Consideration and action adopting the Classification Plan for all full-time employees submitted by the Waters Consulting Group.

 

Linda Kleiner, resident at 12314 N. 127th Lane, said that she speaks in favor of the pay raise.  She has worked with many of the employees for over a year

 

and they are a shining example of the city.  The employees care about the city and they are here not to just collect a paycheck but to help improve the city.

 

Councilor Delgado made a motion to approve item B; seconded by Councilor Conner.

 

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

                 Nay:          

                 Motion:      Carried

 

C.    Consideration and action approving Resolution No. R06-10-27, ADOPTING The Waters Consulting Group recommendation for salaries for Mayor, Vice Mayor and Councilmembers including receiving the City’s Group Insurance Benefits Program.

 

Councilor Monzon asked if there was any documentation that would justify the Council salary increases.

 

Vice Mayor Michele Kern stated that Elected Officials do not have a written job description nor do Councilmembers receive a performance review.

 

Councilor Roy Delgado said that there is no written job description of an Elected Official.  It’s the duty of the Councilmember to go out and join Boards and to talk with the community.  Councilor Delgado asked to adopt some type of Code of Ethics in the near future.

 

Councilor Rick Monzon said that there was no supporting data for a justification of raising Council pay to the suggested rate.

 

Councilor Delgado said that Councilmembers express themselves through how well the City is doing and by what new improvements are being done.  The job of the Council is to set policy for the City Manager and to work with the public.

 

Councilor Xavier Bedolla said that the role of a Councilmember is to help the public.  If a citizen has a concern, it’s up to the Council to listen and to do something about the problem. 

 

Mayor Fred Waterman reiterated that the proposed Council salary increases are due to our neighboring cities and not to any specific person.

 

Councilor Conner said that the suggested salary increases for Council are fair.  He also noted that the last Council salary increase done in 1998 was done illegally.  This means that if the new salary increases are not approved, Council would revert back to the 1987 pay scale which states $200 for Councilmembers and $300 for Mayor along with no City Group Benefits.

 

Councilor Conner also said that a Code of Ethics is fair and reasonable.

           

Councilor Roy Delgado made a motion to approve R06-10-27 as written but will work on a Code of Ethics as soon as possible; seconded by Councilor Conner.

 

Linda Kleiner resident from 12314 N 127th Lane stated that the Council certainly does deserve a pay raise for the job that they do.  The City of El Mirage is growing and needs to be in line with the future.

 

Randy Thomas resident from 12045 W. Flores Dr said that he is all in favor of the pay increase for the Council but would also like to see some accountability.  Randy would like to see Councilmembers at least attend the meetings.

 

VOTE:     Yea:            Bedolla, Conner, Delgado, Kern, Waterman

                 Nay:           Monzon

                 Motion:      Carried

 

D.    Consideration and action regarding convening into the Board of Adjustment.

 

Vice Mayor Michele Kern made a motion to convene into the Board of Adjustment; seconded by Councilor Conner.

 

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

                 Nay:          

                             Motion:      Carried

 

E.     Consideration and action regarding convening into Public Hearing for the purpose of hearing public comment regarding a variance submitted for 8625 N.125th Ave. in Luke Industrial Park.

 

Senior Planner Mark Smith stated that it was an 8 foot wall and it matches the walls around it.

 

Councilor Delgado said that when people move into El Mirage there are guidelines or codes that need to be followed.  The Council can either lower the standards or continue into eternity with granting variances.

 

Owner Bill Gilliam with a business at 8625 N. 125th Ave. said that he is proposing the variance because he might be adding an additional building on the parcel and also doesn’t see any reasoning behind adding landscape to an area that is not visible to the public.

 

Tim McQueen, landscape architect, 1121 E. Missouri Suite 218, Phoenix said that the 20% recommended landscaping for the interior was added to the amount of landscaping in the front yard.

 

F.     Consideration and action regarding closing the Public Hearing.

 

Councilor Conner made a motion to close the Public Hearing; seconded by Vice Mayor Michele Kern.

 

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

                 Nay:

                 Motion:      Carried

 

G.    Consideration and action on request for a variance to allow less than the 20% landscaping for a plumbing contractor’s yard in I-2/65db at 8625 N. 125th Ave in Luke Industrial Park.

 

Vice Mayor Michel Kern made a motion to deny the variance request; seconded by Councilor Monzon.

 

VOTE:     Yea:            Bedolla, Conner, Delgado, Kern, Monzon

                             Nay:           Waterman

                             Motion:      Carried

 

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

 

Vice Mayor Michele Kern made a motion to close the Board of Adjustment and reconvene into Regular Session; seconded by Councilor Delgado.

 

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

                 Nay:

                 Motion:      Carried

 

I.        Consideration and action on opening Public Hearing on zoning items:

1)     Site plan review for plumbing contractor’s yard in I-2/65db at 8625 N. 125th Ave. in Luke Industrial Park.

2)     Conditional use permit for 1,375 sq. ft. garage in R-1/70 db at 11509 N. 123rd Lane in Grande Mirage.

 

Vice Mayor Michele Kern made a motion to open the Public Hearing on zoning items #1 and #2 and to recluse herself on item #2; seconded by Councilor Conner.

 

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

            Nay:         

           Motion: Carried

 

In regard to item #1, the proposed yard will be similar to those around it on Butler, 125th and Alice Lane in Luke Industrial Park.  The site will have decorative masonry walls with front landscaping.   The property is presently vacant. 

 

In regard to item #2, Senior Planner Mark Smith stated that the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval subject to 10 feet in the rear toward El Mirage Road. 

 

Councilor Roy Delgado asked whether or not Council would be in violation of HOA laws.  The city attorney clarified that the Council does not need to take that into account when voting on the issue.

 

Councilor Delgado made a motion to go to the Public Hearing; seconded by Councilor Conner.

 

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

            Nay:         

            Motion:   Carried

 

Paul Straight resident of 11509 N. 123rd Lane.  In regards to building the detached garage, everything is in regulation of the City Code.  As for the HOA, there is nothing about not being able to build the detached garage.  He is using 26.1% of his lot, by City Code he is allowed to use 76% of the land.

 

Senior Planner Mark Smith said that the Planning and Zoning Commission requested approval.

 

J.      Consideration and action on closing the Public Hearing on zoning items.

 

Councilor Conner made a motion to close the Public Hearing; seconded by Councilor Delgado.

 

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

                  Nay:

                  Motion:   Carried    

 

K.    Consideration and action on request for site plan approval for a plumbing contractor’s yard in I-2/65db at 8625 N. 125th Ave. in Luke Industrial Park.

 

Vice Mayor Kern made a motion to deny the site plan approval; seconded by Councilor Delgado.

 

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

                  Nay:   

                  Motion:   Carried

 

L.     Consideration and action on request by Paul Strait for conditional use permit to allow a 1,375 sq. ft. garage in R-1/70 db at 11509 N. 123rd Lane in Grande Mirage.

 

Councilor Conner made a motion to deny the conditional use request; seconded by Councilor Monzon.

 

VOTE:            Yea:       Bedolla, Conner, Delgado, Kern, Monzon,

                                    Nay:       Waterman

                                    Motion:  Carried

 

M.    Consideration and action to convene into Public Hearing to solicit citizen participation in the needs and priorities for funding under CDBG, HOME and other funding grants for fiscal year 2007/2008.

 

Councilor Delgado made a motion to convene into Public Hearing; seconded by Councilor Conner.

 

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

                  Nay:      

                  Motion:  Carried

 

Leonard Rivera said that the applications are due in December.  There will also be an additional hearing on November 9, 2006.

 

The main objective of the CDBG program is to benefit low and moderate income persons and to prevent or eliminate slums or blighted properties.

 

The amount of assistance the City is expected to receive is $500,000.  A range of activities can be taken from this grant including street improvements, water improvements, sidewalk improvements and improved facilities.

 

Councilor Conner asked whether or not the items were ranked in any specific order.  Mr. Rivera replied that all of the items were important and that it is up to the citizens to rank the priorities of certain projects.

 

N.    Consideration and action to close the Public Hearing regarding citizen participation in the needs and priorities for funding under CDBG, HOME and other funding grants for fiscal year 2007/2008.

 

Councilor Delgado made a motion to close the Public Hearing; seconded by Councilor Conner.

 

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

                  Nay:   

                  Motion:  Carried

 

VI.               COUNCIL SUMMARY OF CURRENT EVENTS

 

Vice Mayor Michele Kern apologized to the Council, employees, and the public for her earlier actions during the Council salary discussion.

 

Councilor Delgado said that on October 19th and 20th there will be a community service project at the El Mirage library.  Some of the improvements being made include, painting the library, installing new bike racks, cabinets, and new shelving.  Citizen participation is encouraged.

 

VII.             CITY MANAGER SUMMARY OF CURRENT EVENTS

 

BJ Cornwall stated that there will be a job fair at the Senior Center complex, sponsored by CPLC and Checker Automotive.  The job fair will be held on October 26th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Wal-Mart has announced that they will be opening during the month of April of 2007.  Wal-Mart informed the City that McDonalds will be the food operation inside of the store.  The South-East corner of Dysart and Cactus has gone into escrow.

 

Regarding the Glendale lawsuit, at the last scheduled court date, the Judge granted the City of El Mirage a fifteen minute window to hear arguments.  A new court date has been set for November 12 at 2:00 p.m.

 

BJ Cornwall said that tonight was a great night for the employees, Council and the citizens of El Mirage.  The City is moving forward and will be able to retain excellent workers as well as bring in more qualified employees.

 

VIII.           CALL TO THE PUBLIC

 

Randy Thomas, resident of 12045 W. Flores Dr., thanked dispatch at the El Mirage Police station for doing a great job for so many years.

 

IX.               EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

No Executive Session has been requested.

 

X.                 ADJOURNMENT

 

Vice Mayor Michelle Kern made a motion to adjourn at 6:58 p.m.; seconded by Councilor Conner.

 

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

                  Nay:

                  Motion:  Carried